Tesla Begins Sending Out Takata Airbag Recall Notices To Model S Owners
Given the widening scope of the industry-wide Takata saftety scandal, Tesla is now sending out recall notices for faulty Takata airbags to owners of 2012 Model Year Model S sedans. Overall, some 40 million vehicles are being recalled in the US.
The root of the problem shows itself over time, as high temperatures and moisture “contribute to the degradation of the ammonium nitrate propellant in the inflators”, which can cause it too burn too quickly and rupture the inflator module, which can then send shrapnel into occupants.
The recall notice has been reproduced in its entirety below (of note is that only 2012s are being recalled right now, but eventually all Model S EVs produced prior to later 2016 will be recalled in the future – see bolded content below):
As part of a recent expansion of the industry-wide recall of Takata airbag inflators, the passenger airbags in certain 2012 Model S vehicles are now affected by the recall, and Tesla will be replacing them. Although the Takata recall currently only applies to 2012 Model S vehicles located in regions of the United States designated as high humidity, Tesla will replace the passenger airbags in all 2012 Model S vehicles globally. The safety of our customers is paramount and Tesla is taking this action even though there have been no airbag ruptures or other related incidents in any of its vehicles.
If you own a 2012 Model S vehicle, Tesla will contact you to schedule your replacement service. At this time there is no immediate action that you need to take.
As with the tens of millions of other vehicles with Takata airbags, this recall is taking place according to the schedule determined by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Tesla intends to follow the same schedule for replacements in other countries as well – even where local regulators have not required a recall. This schedule ensures that customers will have sufficient time to replace recalled airbags before they present a risk to safety, due to the fact that the inflators only become defective based on a number of different factors, including their age.
Although the current recall only applies to 2012 Model S vehicles, the passenger airbags of all Model S vehicles produced through late 2016 are expected to eventually be recalled. If you own a Model S produced between 2013 and 2016, your airbags are safe, and you do not need to take any action until you receive further notice from Tesla. As noted by NHTSA, customers do not need to be concerned about Takata inflators before they receive a recall notice. Nevertheless, for convenience and peace of mind, Tesla will make every effort to proactively replace the airbags of all affected vehicles even before they are recalled. This will be performed as parts supply allows, and at this time you do not need to take any action.
The recalls will not affect any Tesla vehicles currently being produced, Model S vehicles that were produced after late 2016, or any Tesla Roadster or Model X vehicles. These vehicles do not have the type of airbag inflator that is subject to the recall.
For more information, FAQs, and other details related to this recall, please visit the Recall Information page. If you need additional assistance, you can also contact us by phone at (877) 798‑3752 or by email at ServiceHelpNA@tesla.com.