Tesla is recalling over 24,000 Model 3 units to fix an incorrectly reassembled seatbelt anchor. It is the fifth physical recall out of fifteen total recalls Tesla has announced so far in 2022, with the other then being fixed with an Over-the-Air Software Update.
The NHTSA announced on October 21 that Tesla would recall 24,064 units of the Model 3 following the identification of a potential issue with seatbelt anchors in the rear seats. “Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2017-2022 Model 3 vehicles. The second-row left seat belt buckle and second-row center seat belt anchor may have been incorrectly reassembled during vehicle service,” the NHTSA said.
Tesla will remedy the problem by requiring affected vehicles to visit a local service center for a free repair.
This is only Tesla’s fifth recall of the year that requires affected units to physically visit a service center for repair. As software has become more engrained in vehicles, many issues can be repaired with an update just as a smartphone would. However, the NHTSA and other agencies still qualify these as “recalls,” which has sparked plenty of healthy debates regarding terminology.
The NHTSA told Teslarati that the terminology of a recall is universal and is utilized whenever an automotive manufacturer has to issue a bulletin to remedy an issue that could affect safety. This includes software updates, which has some people concerned that the terminology could lead to confusion.
Tesla’s four previous physical recalls in 2022 dealt with a replacement of airbags in five 2022 Model S units, camera terminal swaps and recalibrations in seven Model 3 and Model Y units, airbag replacements in over 7,200 Model X vehicles, and other airbag replacements in nine Model S vehicles. It also was forced to issue a recall for a single Model X vehicle earlier this year, which was simply replaced by Tesla.