PALO ALTO, California — Tesla Motors is recalling approximately 90,000 2012-'15 Tesla Model S electric sedans to fix a seatbelt problem, the automaker said in a letter to owners. This is said to be the largest recall in the history of Tesla.
"Tesla recently found a Model S in Europe with a front seatbelt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner," said the letter, which Tesla provided to Edmunds. "This vehicle was not involved in a crash and there were no injuries.
"However, in the event of a crash, a seatbelt in this condition would not provide full protection."
Tesla said it has since inspected the seatbelts in more than 3,000 vehicles spanning the entire range of Model S production and "found no issues."
But "we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall as a proactive and precautionary measure to inspect all front Model S seatbelts and make absolutely sure that they are properly connected," the automaker said.
An e-mailed message went out to Model S owners last week, telling them to visit one of Tesla's service centers for a vehicle inspection. Owners can call 844-248-3752 to be automatically routed to a local service center based upon the area code they are calling from.
Tesla service technicians will inspect the seatbelts and install a new bolt, if necessary.
"If you are concerned about the status of your seatbelt prior to your scheduled inspection, you may be able to detect this condition by pulling very firmly on the lap portion of your seatbelt with a force of at least 80 pounds," Tesla said. "This procedure may detect an improperly attached seatbelt, but performing this procedure does not replace the need for an inspection by a Tesla technician."
There are no concerns regarding the seatbelts in the rear of the Model S.
No information about the recall has been posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle safety in the U.S.
Edmunds says: Owners of the Tesla Model S should make an appointment now to have their vehicle inspected. Any repair should take just minutes.