Tesla Recalls In 2024 Balloon To 2.5M After Seat Belt Issue Affects 125K EVs

hero 2023 tesla s lineup
Tesla does a lot of things right, but when it comes to safety and recalls, the much-envied automaker also leads the pack. We're sure it's not a statistic it revels in, but the fact is, it's only June and so far Tesla tops the charts with more than 2.5 million vehicle recalls, this time thanks to a recent seat belt issue that involves 125,000 electric vehicles.

Some say that scrutiny is the price of success. In Elon Musk's case, the past two years have seen his brands like Tesla ship more cars than ever, Starlink and SpaceX scored amazingly in total launches (and landings), and Neuralink with its first successful mind-control brain implant. On the other hand, we think that 2024 hasn't been a good year for Tesla's customer service and retention department due in part to a litany of recalls over its line of vehicles. 

Last year, Tesla recalled about 2 million of its sought-after EVs over safety issues related to AutoPilot and steering wheel failure. AutoPilot was cast in the limelight for causing hundreds of crashes and 29 deaths in the U.S. alone, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finding that the full self-driving software doesn't do enough to maintain driver engagement and awareness.

Tesla Model X seats 2 e1572300614557
Interior of Model X

In a new development, a recall by NHTSA has been issued for 125,000 Model S, X, 3, and Y EVs due to seat belt warning lights not illuminating and/or chiming as they should when the "ignition" is moved to the ON or Start position. Apparently this problem is software related, so this recall involves a simple over-the-air update rolling out this month (as many of Tesla's 'recalls' do). According to the report, the OTA "will remove dependency on the driver seat occupancy switch from the software logic and only rely on driver seat belt buckle and ignition status to activate the seat belt reminder signals".

This recall compounds on another NHSTA requirement last week to fix faulty seat belts on more than 110,000 Model Xs. In this case, owners were getting to enjoy their car fall apart before their very eyes—front seat belts detached from their mounts while driving.

In January, the biggest recall (involving, again, a staggering 2 million of its vehicles) concerned warning lights with illegible font sizes. The NHTSA feared that critical information on the instrument display(s) would be difficult to read thus potentially leading to crashes.