Tesla vehicles are parked at a company location in Littleton, Colo. File / AP
Tesla is recalling more than 817,000 vehicles in the US because the seat belt reminder chimes may not sound when the vehicles are started and the driver hasn’t buckled up.
The recall covers the 2021 and 2022 Model S sedan and Model X SUV, as well as the 2017 through 2022 Model 3 sedan and 2020 through 2022 Model Y SUV, according to documents posted on Thursday by safety regulators.
Federal motor vehicle safety laws require the chimes to sound when vehicles are started, and the sound stops when front belts are buckled.
The recall documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the problem happens only if the driver left the vehicle in the previous drive cycle while the chime was sounding.
Tesla will fix the problem by sending out an over the air software update early this month. The safety agency says without the chime, a driver may not know their seat belt is unbuckled, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.
The company says in the documents that it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries due to the problem. A visual seat belt reminder is still displayed.
The problem was discovered by South Korea’s Automobile Testing and Research Institute on Jan. 6. Tesla investigated and determined that a recall was needed on Jan. 25, the documents say.