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Seat latch problem prompts first Tesla Motors Model S recall

June 19, 2013|By Jerry Hirsch
  • Shoppers in a Tesla showroom in Miami. A seat latch problem prompted the electric car company's first recall Wednesday.
Shoppers in a Tesla showroom in Miami. A seat latch problem prompted the… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

Add another first to electric car company Tesla Motors’ list of accomplishments -- its first recall of its Model S sporty sedan.

Tesla will recall about 1,228 of its expensive Model S because of a problem with a seat latch, Elon Musk, the automaker’s chief executive said in a statement.

“The mounting bracket for the left hand latch of the second row seat could be weaker than intended. This reduces our confidence that the left hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash,” Musk wrote on the company’s website.

Musk said Tesla discovered the problem during routine testing and no customers have complained of problems with the latch.  He said the automaker knows of no injuries resulting from the weaker than expected latch.

Tesla plans to reinforce the bracket.  Musk apologized for the problem and said Tesla will contact owners, pick up their cars, provide a loaner if needed and make the repair. Only cars manufactured in May and June have the problem, Musk said.

The Model S, currently Tesla's only model, starts at about $62,000 and can top $100,000, depending on trim level and options. The car is stylish and fast, boasting a zero-to-60-mph acceleration of less than six seconds.

Earlier this year Tesla post its first quarterly profit in its 10-year history, and Consumer Reports gave the all-electric car its highest rating. The Model S was given 99 points out of 100, only the second vehicle to get such a rating.

Investors shrugged off the recall.  In morning trading, Tesla shares rose $1.72, or almost 2%, to $105.11.


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