Tesla recalls 53,000 Model S, Model X cars for stuck parking brakes

A gear prone to fracture may cause some cars to stay in Park, even if an owner tries to shift into Drive or Reverse.

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Some recalls are voluntary, which means the automaker issues them without being compelled by the government to do so. Tesla's latest recall is one of those.

Tesla issued a voluntary recall for approximately 53,000 examples of the Model S hatchback and the Model Xcrossover. About 31,000 of those are located in the US, and all affected vehicles carry build dates between February and October 2016.

Being stuck in Park sure sounds better than being unable to keep the car from rolling when shut off.

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The problem lies with the electric parking brakes that help secure the vehicles when placed in Park. The parking brakes contain a small gear that might fracture, which would prevent the parking brake from releasing. Thus, a car that enters Park may not be able to move again. This has no bearing on the vehicles' regular brakes, and Tesla has received no reports of the parking brake system failing to hold a car in place.

Tesla estimates that about 2 percent of the vehicles recalled contain the improperly manufactured gear. It should be noted that the parking brake assembly is from a third-party supplier, as well.

The fix is not overly complicated, nor will it require a long wait. It takes less than 45 minutes to replace both parking brakes, and service centers already have some replacement parts ready for swapping in. Tesla estimates that it will have replacement parts for every recalled vehicle by October.

Owners will be notified starting today, first via email, then by first-class mail.

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