Tesla Recalls Model X Over Slipping Seatbacks

The falcon-winged crossover continues to have production woes.

byBrendan McAleer|
Electric Vehicles photo

Citing failures found during internal strength testing, Telsa is issuing a voluntary recall on all Model X crossovers produced on or before March 26th of this year. The issue is with the third row seatbacks, which could slip during an impact and cause injury. Tesla says it is holding Futuris, the supplier of the parts, responsible for the costs of the recall.

Some 2700 Model Xs are affected by the recall, a number which would likely be higher if Tesla wasn't already struggling to meet production targets. Demand for the vehicle is clearly there, but this isn't the first problem Tesla has had with suppliers. Previously this month, Tesla blamed the delays both on the slowness of outside suppliers, and on their own hubris in trying to add too much technology to the first version of the Model X.

Tesla's fans, those who would plunk down a thousand-dollar reservation for the nebulous Model 3, may consider the recall to be further evidence of Tesla's dedication to getting things right. After all, the failure was with a supplier-sourced part, and it was found during rigorous internal testing rather than during a regulatory event such as crash testing.

Those bearish on Tesla's outlook are quick to point to this recall as further indication of Tesla's inability to deliver on its promises. The massive hype surrounding the Model 3's launch shows demand is there, depending on what the specs of the Model 3 actually end up being, but if Tesla can't deliver on the Model X, how can it follow through with a Tesla for the masses?

As Chris Rock might have said, Tesla fans too happy, Tesla haters too mad, and the truth is somewhere in the middle. Building a car company from scratch, and there are many lessons to be learned along the way. From the outside, it would appear that Tesla is adapting as fast as it can to the realities of an industry where relying on suppliers is a necessary evil - see: Takata airbags. This recall at least shows they're being vigilant.