Tesla recalls 817,000 vehicles due to seat belt alert issue
By Matt McFarland, CNN Business
(CNN) -- Tesla has issued a second recall in a week's time, in this case due to a chime that would not always sound if a driver's seat belt was unbuckled.
The faulty seat belt chime impacted 817,143 vehicles, including Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicle from the 2021 and 2022 model year.
Tesla has already begun introducing a software update to fix the issue in production vehicles, according to a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other Tesla vehicles will receive an over-the-air software update early this month.
The Tesla recalls that have surfaced in the last week are not burdensome for vehicle owners, or the company. Drivers do not need to schedule a service appointment. Both are being fixed through software updates, which lessens the severity and cost of a recall. (Earlier this week Tesla recalled its "full self-driving" software, which had been programmed to roll through stop signs.)
Federal safety standards require that an audible seat belt reminder chimes after a vehicle is started if the driver seat belt is not detected as buckled.
This seat belt chime was not sounding on some Teslas due to a software bug, according to the document the automaker filed.
The bug occurred after a driver had exited the vehicle when the chime was sounding, and then re-entered the vehicle. The issue would not occur if the vehicle exceeded 13.7 mph, according to Tesla. The automaker's visual alert of an unbuckled seatbelt was also unimpaired by the flaw, the document said.
The South Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute notified Tesla of the issue on January 6 of this year. Tesla concluded on January 25 that there was indeed a problem. There have been no crashes, injuries or deaths as a result of the bug as of January 31, according to the document Tesla filed. The automaker did not respond to a CNN Business request for comment.
Tesla has received increased scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the last year.
The administration said yesterday that it's considering a probe into complaints that Teslas sometimes brake unnecessarily.
Last year scrutiny from NHTSA led to Tesla disabling a way to play video games when its vehicles are moving. It also launched an investigation into Teslas crashing into emergency vehicles while using Autopilot or other driver-assist features.
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