Tesla has gained popularity for the efficiency and innovation across all its models.
However, the company is guilty of some sloppiness in its assembling process. Some of these factory errors are serious enough to warrant recalls. Tesla has recalled its vehicles 31 times as at the time of writing this article, with the Model S accounting for the bulk of the issues.
Before going into the article proper, it’s important to state that Tesla recalled almost half a million cars across its models for various safety issues towards the end of December 2021. Issues range from improper rearview camera installation in 2017-2020 Model 3s to latching problems in Model S sedans from 2014 or later.
Keep reading this article to find out the Tesla models with the most recalls.
Tesla Model S Recalls
The Model S has the highest number of recalls among all Tesla models. The carmaker has issued 12 recalls for this model. Here are reasons for the recall actions:
- eMMC Controller: Tesla recalled certain 2018 Model S cars to replace their faulty eMMC (Embedded Multi Media Card) controller. When the eMMC flash memory device reaches the end of its lifetime, the vehicle’s file system may suffer a reduction in performance. This might lead to a failure in several center display functions, like the defog control settings, rearview camera display, and turn signal lighting.
- Frontal Airbags: When the frontal airbags of some Model S cars deploy during a collision, their inflators may explode. This explosion is a result of the problematic propellant gases in the vehicles, which have been exposed to high humidity and harsh weather. An inflator explosion may break metal objects in the car and cause passengers to sustain severe injuries.
Tesla recalled its Model S vehicle three times because of its faulty frontal airbags. At first, the automaker only recalled 2012 Model S cars. When the company made the second recall because of this problem in 2018, it was for Model S vehicles released in 2013. The final recall was issued in 2019 for 2014–2018 Model S cars.
- Steering Racks: In certain 2012–2016 Tesla Model S cars, the aluminum bolts on the steering gear assist may rust and break. Due to this issue, the steering gear assist may fail. Drivers of such vehicles may need to put extra effort into steering while driving.
- Brakes: While assembling certain 2016 Model S cars, Tesla might have placed a faulty internal gear in their parking brake calipers. As a result, the gear in affected vehicles may break when their drivers apply or release the parking brakes. Cars with broken gears tend to lose their stability and roll off the road.
- Seat Belts: In some 2012–2015 Tesla Model S vehicles, the automaker may have linked the front passenger seat belts to the outboard lap pre-tensioners incorrectly. These seatbelts may be unable to protect the occupant of the front seat during a collision.
- Seat: Tesla may have used an incorrect method to align the bracket to the left seatback striker of some 2013 Model S cars. This malfunction may have damaged the weld between the vehicle’s frame and bracket. In addition, the left seatback may fall off while the vehicle is moving.
- Forward Collision: The engine in certain 2021 Model S cars may activate the AEB (automatic emergency braking) system without the occurrence of an accident. When the AEB system applies unexpectedly, the vehicle may suddenly stop working.
Tesla Model X Recalls
Tesla Model X is another Tesla vehicle that received many recalls. The manufacturer issued seven recalls for this model. Check out the list below to discover the reasons Tesla recalled this vehicle:
- Roof: Tesla may have attached the front and spine cosmetic roof trims to certain 2016 Model X cars without using primer. Due to this issue, the trims may break off from the vehicle. The broken trims may fall on the windscreen and affect the driver’s vision, thus increasing the possibility of a collision.
- Steering: Tesla recalled some 2015–2016 Model X cars in 2020 to replace the aluminium bolts on their steering gears. This was because the original bolts were likely to rust and break quickly. Given that these bolts were attached to the steering, the power steering assist may fail if the bolts break. As a result, drivers of the affected vehicles may need to increase the effort they put into maneuvering their steering wheels when driving.
- Seat Assembly: The automaker may have mounted recliner mechanism cables incorrectly while building certain 2016–2017 Model X cars. This may affect the stability of the reclining seatbacks in the second row of such vehicles. During an accident, the seatback may move forward, thus putting its occupants at the risk of injury.
- Seatback: Because of a manufacturing error, the seatbacks in the third rows of certain 2016 Model X cars may suddenly move forward during a crash. This may cause the passengers on the seats to sustain injuries.
- Parking Brake: Tesla may have installed an incorrect internal gear in the parking brake calipers of some 2016 Model X cars. This faulty gear may fracture when the user applies the brakes. As a result, affected Model X drivers may find it difficult to move such vehicles from the road.
- Center Display: The file system of certain 2016–2018 Model X cars may suffer a reduction in performance when their eMMC flash memory device stops working. When this happens, several center display components like the turn signal lighting, defog control settings, and rearview camera display may fail.
- AEB System: The AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) system of some 2017–2021 Model X vehicles may apply without the occurrence of a collision. As a result, the car may suddenly come to a halt in the middle of the highway.
Model Y Recalls
Compared to other Tesla cars, the Model Y vehicle has received many recalls. The automaker has recalled this model about seven times since the release of the car for these reasons:
- Seat Belt Retractors: In some 2019–2021 Model Y cars, the fasteners that attach seat belt retractors to the second-row seats may loosen. As a result, the seat belt retention system in such vehicles may encounter a drop in performance.
- Suspension: Tesla may have tightened the bolts linking the upper control suspension arms to the steering knuckles of some 2020 Model Y cars improperly. This might cause the upper control arm to separate from the steering knuckles of such vehicles. Due to this issue, the wheels may lean out, thus increasing the difficulty of steering the car.
- Software Error: The trailer brake lights of some 2020 Model Y vehicles may fail to illuminate when the driver applies the brakes. As a result, drivers behind such vehicles may maintain their speed and collide with the car.
- Front Suspension: The fasteners on the front suspension lateral links of certain 2020 and 2021 Model Y cars may loosen. This may cause the lateral link to detach from the sub-frame in affected vehicles.
- Brake Calipers: Due to a manufacturing error, the brake calipers of certain 2020–2021 Model Y cars may loosen, causing the brake caliper to fall out. A detached brake caliper may collide with the wheel rim and reduce tire pressure.
- Seat Belts: Tesla may not have correctly attached the fasteners that connect the front seat belts of certain 2019–2021 Model Y cars to their b-pillars. This may affect the performance of the seat belt system.
- AEB System: The AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) system of some 2020–2021 Model Y cars may activate unexpectedly while the vehicle is moving. The sudden deployment of the AEB system may put such vehicles to a halt.
Model 3 Recalls
The Model 3 has the fourth highest number of recalls among all Tesla cars. The automaker has issued about six recalls for its Model 3 car for issues relating to:
- Airbags: Tesla may have attached the curtain airbags to the roof rail of specific 2021 Model 3 cars incorrectly. Due to this problem, the airbags of such vehicles may twist while the vehicle is moving. A twisted airbag is likely to deploy without necessity. When this happens, the occupants in affected cars may sustain injuries.
- Seat Belt: In specific 2018–2020 Model 3 cars, Tesla may not have attached the fasteners between the b-pillar and the front seat belt correctly. This may reduce the performance of the seatbelt.
- Suspension: The front suspension lateral link of some 2019–2021 Model 3 vehicles may detach from their sub-frames. This may displace the wheel alignment in affected cars.
- Brakes: Some brake caliper bolts in certain 2019–2021 Model 3 cars may come loose while the vehicle is moving. As a result, the brake calipers may separate from the vehicle and collide with the wheel rim. A collision with the wheel rim may lead to a fall in tire pressure, thus putting the car at the risk of an accident.
- AEB System: The engine of some 2017–2021 Model 3 vehicles may activate the AEB without an accident. Because of this issue, affected cars may suddenly stop moving.