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Summary:

Tesla does a minor recall of several hundred of its Model S cars for a weak seat bracket.

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Electric car maker Tesla announced on late Tuesday night that it’s voluntarily recalled about 800 of its Model S cars due to a potentially weak bracket holding the left hand, second row seat. These were cars that were made between May 10, 2013 and June 8, 2013, and the company emphasized in the announcement that there were no customer complaints and no injuries and that no regulatory body had brought the default to Tesla’s attention.

Tesla delivered around 7,500 Model S cars to customers in North America for the quarter that ended March 31, 2013, and is on a production schedule of making 400 cars per week. So say Tesla has delivered 12,000 (that’s about 400 a week since March 31) then 800 cars recalled is less than 7 percent of the cars.

Tesla Model SThat’s just my back of the envelope math, but basically the recall was small. Also the faulty part isn’t in a dangerous area like the battery or drivetrain. It’s not unusual for car companies — young and old — to do minor recalls.

Tesla will pick up all of the affected cars, provide a loaner car if needed, and bring back the car with the reinforced seat bracket a few hours later, the company says. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told me in a tweet that the company should have the corrections done pretty much by next week.

Tesla’s stock was only down 1.44 percent in after hour trading, but I’ll update this if that changes.

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  1. Actually, the recall affects a total of 1228 cars (not 800) and the company suspects that 20% of the recalled cars have welds that may not hold up in the event of a crash. I agree these things can happen to any new model — but just because it’s not in a battery or drivetrain, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pose a danger. If someone goes flying through a windshield as a result of a crash and a weak weld; I would think they might consider that a rather dangerous situation. I wonder if you would have so easily underplayed the extent of the recall — or the danger involved — had the same recall occurred with the Fisker Karma. I can just see the headlines now: “Shoddy Welds on Karmas: Accidents Waiting to Happen or Just Incompetence?”

  2. Katie Fehrenbacher Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Tesla CEO said to me that it was around 800.

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