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Tesla is Recalling Over 800,000 Vehicles to Fix Faulty Seat Belt Chimes

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【Summary】Tesla is recalling over 800,000 2021-2022 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, 2017-2022 Model 3, and 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles to address the malfunctioning seat belt chime. The problem is that the audible chime may not activate when the driver starts the vehicle and has not buckled their seat belt.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 03, 2022 9:30 AM PT
Tesla is Recalling Over 800,000 Vehicles to Fix Faulty Seat Belt Chimes

Electric automaker Tesla is dealing with its second major recall in the past two weeks. After recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles to address "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) beta software that may cause the vehicle to not come to a complete stop at stop signs, the latest recall is for the seat belt chime designed to remind a driver to buckle up.

Tesla is recalling 2021-2022 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, 2017-2022 Model 3, and 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles to address the malfunctioning seat belt chime. The problem is that the audible chime may not activate when the vehicle starts and the driver has not yet buckled their seat belt. 

The current NHTSA-issued Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) require that all vehicles sold in the U.S. have an audible alert for the driver if they forget to buckle up before driving away.

The latest recall is one of several high-profile recalls over the past few months in addition to the FSD beta software fix coming this month to address the issue of vehicles rolling through stop signs.

In December, Tesla announced it was recalling all 2017-2020 Model 3 sedans produced between Jul 15, 2017 through Sept 30, 2020 to inspect and repair the rear view camera cable, which can be damaged from repeatedly opening or closing the trunk.

The Tesla Model 3, the backup camera is located near the rear license plate. Tesla uses a common solid core coaxial cable to connect the camera to the center dashboard display on the Model 3, which is bundled in a wiring harness that runs along the trunk lid. The wiring harness is designed to flex whenever the lid is opened, but a break in the wiring can cause the rear view camera not to function when the vehicle is put into reverse.

A year ago, Tesla was pressured by the U.S. National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall roughly 135,000 vehicles for failing touchscreen displays caused by the flash memory control unit (MCU).

Some Tesla owners reported erratic operation of the display, very slow response times, map rendering issues when using navigation, random reboots or a completely black screen. 

Tesla finally acknowledged that all of the older memory control units (MCU's) and wrote that displays used in the earlier Model S and Model X "will inevitably fail given the memory device's finite storage capacity."

Tesla was the first automaker to offer over-the-air software updates, so luckily the seat belt chime problem can be addressed without requiring owners to take their Teslas in for a service appointment. 

The repairs will be made via an over-the-air software update, which will be free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 1, 2022.

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