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Tesla issues its first Model X recall

Testing of European models found an issue where a seat recliner malfunctioned, and it's recalling nearly every one of its electric SUVs to ensure the problem doesn't happen again.

Tesla's asking Model X owners to keep folks out of the third row until the seat backs are replaced. Easier said than done, if you have a large family!


Until now, Tesla's recalls have related to its all-electric Model S. Now, though, that's changing. Thanks to a rear-seat issue discovered on one of its European models, the automaker is issuing a recall for nearly every Model X SUV.

The recall covers approximately 2,700 vehicles, all of which have a build date before March 26, 2016. The problem lies within the recliner mechanism that allows third-row seat backs to fold forward. During a seat strength test, that recliner mechanism failed and allowed the seat to slip. Not a single seat has slipped in an owner's hands -- that the company knows of, at least.

Even with a single outlier, Tesla issued a voluntary recall for all Model X SUVs that carry this mechanism. The fix, as Tesla told us via email, is already in place. "We have worked with our supplier to develop a new recliner design with improved quality that resolved the issue," a company spokesperson said via email. "We are now constructing new third row seat backs to match all affected vehicles."

Tesla's email to Model X owners explains that local service centers will contact individual owners to plot out details regarding the seat replacement, which is completely free. In the meantime, Tesla has asked its customers, out of abundance of caution, to keep people out of the third row while the car is being used.