U.S. auto safety regulators have announced they are opening an evaluation into 50,000 Tesla Model X vehicles after receiving complaints reporting front seat belt failures.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the preliminary evaluation covers 2022-2023 models over the failure of front seat belts remaining connected to the anchor pretensioner, which tightens the seat belts before a crash while driving.
Representatives from the NHTSA commented, “Both newer vehicles had insufficiently connected anchor linkage and neither incident involved vehicle collision with occupants wearing the seat belts.”
Meanwhile, in one complaint from Larkspur, California, a Tesla was moving at approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour when the auto braking system activated due to the driver’s door opening unexpectedly. The complaint filed with the NHTSA said, “With the sudden deceleration, my upper body flung forward, and the force of my weight caused the seat belt anchor on the lower seat to detach completely.”
The other complaint alleges that the belt linkage and pretensioner got separated from the seat frames when the vehicle was driving.
Additionally, owners of the Model X have reported ten seat belt-related issues since 1996, mainly including the seat belt anchor breaking or coming off. However, the agency asserts it’s opening an investigation to look into Tesla’s manufacturing processes, how often the problem happens, and how widespread it is before issuing a complete recall.