NHTSA opens probe on 50k Tesla Model X after two seat belt complaints

Credit: sunnyvaletree/Tesla Motors Club

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted on Tuesday that it was opening a probe into approximately 50,000 Tesla Model X vehicles from the 2022-2023 model years. The probe comes after the safety agency received two complaints about front seat belt failures on the all-electric SUV. 

As per the complaints posted on the NHTSA’s official website, the Model X’s belts reportedly failed to stay connected to the seat belt anchor pretensioner while the all-electric SUV was in motion. No collisions or accidents related to the issue have been reported so far, the NHTSA has noted. 

Tesla, for its part, has not provided a comment on the matter as of writing. 

As per the NHTSA’s official website, one of the complaints was from a Tesla Model X passenger from Larkspur, California. At the time of the incident, the Tesla was reportedly moving at about 10-15 mph when the vehicle’s automatic braking system was activated. The passenger was thrown forward, and the seat belt reportedly detached as a result. 

“I was a passenger in the vehicle. The car was moving forward at 10-15 mph and the auto braking system was activated appropriately when a large truck parked on the side of the street driver’s door opened unexpectedly and was in the path of our vehicle. With the sudden deceleration, my upper body flung forward, and the force of my weight caused the seat belt anchor on the lower seat to detach completely,” the complaint read

Following the preliminary evaluation, the NHTSA would determine if the issue would be escalated to an engineering analysis before a recall can be implemented.

While the vast majority of Tesla recalls are addressed through the electric vehicle maker’s over-the-air software updates, issues related to the vehicle’s hardware might require the company to fix issues through a visit to a service center. Considering the nature of the seat belt-related complaints to the NHTSA, the issue could become one of the relatively few hardware-related recalls from the EV maker. 

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NHTSA opens probe on 50k Tesla Model X after two seat belt complaints
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