NHTSA probes 50,000 Tesla Model X vehicles over front seat belt detachment



WASHINGTON — U.S. auto safety regulators said Tuesday they are opening a probe into 50,000 Tesla Model X vehicles after receiving two complaints reporting front seat belt failures.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the preliminary evaluation covers 2022-2023 model year vehicles over reports of failures of the front seat belt to remain connected to the seat belt anchor pretensioner while driving. Neither incident involved a collision, NHTSA said. 

Both newer vehicles had insufficiently connected anchor linkages and neither incident involved a vehicle collision, NHTSA said. 

In one complaint from Larkspur, California, a Tesla was moving at around 10 to 15 miles per hour and the auto braking system activated when the driver’s door on a large truck parked on the side of the street opened unexpectedly.

“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,” a complaint filed with the NHTSA said.

After the NHTSA opens a preliminary evaluation, it must decide whether to upgrade it to an engineering analysis before it can demand a recall.

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