NHTSA is investigating Tesla Model X seat belt failure

National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) An investigation is underway (pdf) Two separate non-collision seat belt failures in newer Tesla Model X vehicles (via NBC News).

NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) notes two complaints from Model X owners saying that their front seat belts failed to stay in contact with the seat belt tensioners. Both owners reported that the disconnect occurred while driving their 2022 and 2023 Model X vehicles. “Both vehicles were delivered to the owners with inadequate tie downs,” the investigators write.

NHTSA first opened the investigation on March 24 and says as many as 50,000 or so Model X vehicles could be affected by the issue. In both cases, the agency says the “failure to connect” occurred in the area where the anchor meets the girdles, as they “were not connected properly during assembly” and only held together due to proper friction. Separation occurs when “the force exerted on the joint overcomes the frictional resistance during vehicle motion.”

Tesla had to issue a different seatbelt recall last year to fix an issue that affected more than 24,000 Model 3 vehicles. It happened due to unrelated service center visits, where technicians didn’t properly reassemble the rear seat anchor.

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