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The Sound of Safety: Tesla recalls 817,000 vehicles for seatbelt chime malfunction

Toronto, Ontario — Piling onto the electric automaker’s growing list of equipment issues, Tesla has announced that it is recalling 817,000 vehicles from across its entire 2021-2022 model lineup due to a seatbelt warning malfunction.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles have been issued a recall notice for an error where the chime to remind the driver to put on their seatbelt does not activate.

The recall states that it “requires the audible seat belt reminder chime to activate upon vehicle start (i.e., driver presses the brake pedal after entering the vehicle) if the driver seat belt is not detected as buckled.”

The cause of the issue is described as follows: “When the driver starts the vehicle without buckling their seat belt, software monitors the current state and warns the driver to buckle their seat belt, and records that it has warned the driver. However, if the drive cycle state changes (e.g., driver exits the vehicle) during this reminder, the software erroneously stays in the state where it has already warned the driver, and does not reset its state to prepare for the next warning. Therefore, the next time the vehicle is started without the driver buckling their seat belt first, the driver is not warned by the chime, but instead only receives the accompanying visual telltale.”

As of Jan. 31, Tesla isn’t aware of any warranty claims, field reports, crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to the recall, according to the notice.

The automaker says that a firmware update is on the way to rectify the issue and that vehicles equipped with firmware updates 2021.43.101.1,  2022.4.5 or later are currently unaffected by the recall.

This announcement comes weeks after the industry-leading EV developer recalled 53,822 vehicles for an issue that would cause self-driving Teslas to roll through stop signs.

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