Tesla has issued a Model S safety update, stating that the passenger airbags in certain 2012-2013 Model S vehicles would be affected by the ongoing global Takata airbag recall. According to the California-based electric car maker and energy firm, Tesla would be following the schedule set by the NHTSA, which mandated that defective airbags in affected vehicles be replaced immediately.
Tesla prides itself as a company that manufactures some of the safest vehicles on the road, and this is evident in the Elon Musk-led electric car maker’s latest safety update to its customers. In Tesla’s note, the electric car firm stated that while there have been no untoward incidents reported so far with regards to the Model S’ Takata airbags; the company is taking the initiative to replace the defective inflators now. The carmaker further noted that it would be contacting all Tesla Model S owners who are affected by the Takata recall. Thus, no immediate action is required from those whose vehicles are affected by the issue.
The California-based electric car and energy firm also reminded its customers that Takata’s faulty airbags affect millions of vehicles on the road. Considering the scope of the issue, Tesla would be following the NHTSA’s guidelines and replacing affected vehicles’ airbags in phases, depending on the electric cars’ manufacturing date. According to Tesla, however, it would be continuing its airbag replacement initiative even if regulators do not require a full-scale recall.
One thing that Tesla did emphasize in its latest safety update, however, was the fact that eventually, Model S vehicles that were manufactured up to late 2016 might subsequently be called back for possible airbag issues. Currently, the ongoing Takata recall only affects Model S cars that were produced from 2012-2013. Considering that Takata airbags were fitted on the flagship sedan well after those years, however, recalls for 2014-2016 Model S would likely happen. Tesla did state, however, that Model X and Model 3 vehicles, as well as the first-generation Tesla Roadster, are not affected by Takata’s faulty airbags, since these cars were not equipped with the firm’s defective inflators.
Takata’s faulty airbags have become one of the biggest scandals in the auto industry during the past few years. The defective units, which have a tendency to shoot shrapnel into passengers during impact, have caused at least 139 injuries and two fatalities, according to a Car and Driver report. Being one of the world’s most prolific airbag manufacturers, Takata was the brand of choice for many car makers including Tesla, which was just an electric car startup then.
Recalls for Takata’s faulty airbags were initiated eventually, but by that time, injuries caused by the defective inflators were already piling up. By August 2015, Tesla became one of only two carmakers that were not mandated to recall its vehicles due to Takata’s faulty airbags. In the following months, however, it became evident that some Model S were equipped with defective airbag units. By early 2017, Tesla issued a recall for 2997 Model S sedans that were manufactured in 2012.
Tesla’s official safety update for the Model S could be viewed here.