Rivian was not the only electric vehicle startup to feature in my weekly recall email from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this morning. Both Electra Mecchanica and Lordstown are recalling a small number of EVs, but, more significantly, Tesla has issued yet another recall, and this time there’s no software patch that can remedy the problem; affected cars have to actually be physically inspected.
Tesla is recalling 3,470 Model Y crossovers built between May 2022 and February 2023 in order to check that the bolts that secure the frame of the second-row seats are properly torqued. Those that aren’t could potentially increase the risk of injury to occupants of the second row during a crash.
For owners worried their cars may be affected, Tesla says that a “second-row seat back frame that has this condition may not fold properly or may be loose and rattle during normal vehicle operation.”
Tesla first got an inkling there was a problem in December 2022, when a worker at the company’s factory in California found a seat-back bolt that secured the seat back to its frame was not properly torqued. Vehicles still in production were then double-checked, and Tesla and its supplier Faurecia began an investigation to find out which bolts in which seats might need fixing.
By February 17 Tesla had decided that a recall was necessary for the affected vehicles and says that to date it has identified five warranty claims but no accidents related to the faulty bolts.
Tesla says it will contact affected owners between now and the end of February to arrange inspections of the bolts, which will be retorqued if necessary.