The car maker Tesla announced a voluntary recall today based on a single report of a faulty seat belt. The announcement, made via email to the 90,000 Model S owners affected, caused company shares to fall, Bloomberg News reported today.
The Model S has been in circulation since 2012. This recall affects all such vehicles, going back to that time. But it should be noted that no one was injured by the defective seat belt and the recall is an effort to prevent injury.
"Tesla recently found a Model S in Europe with a front seat belt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner," the company said in an e-mail to customers. "This vehicle was not involved in a crash and there were no injuries. However, in the event of a crash, a seat belt in this condition would not provide full protection."
The company reportedly learned of the problem two weeks ago when a customer in Europe reported that the front seat belt unlatched when he turned to talk to a passenger in back. "The bolt that was supposed to tie the two anchors together wasn't properly assembled," according to a company representative.
Tesla -- based in Palo Alto, California -- said it immediately inspected 3,000 cars locally and found no other issues. Nonetheless, it is asking owners to bring their cars in to check the seat belts are properly connected. They advised owners to promptly book an appointment for the inspections.
Does This Hurt Tesla?
Although the company's stock did fall today, some financial analysts are heartened by Tesla's response, rather than disconcerted by the single incident. "The recall ... shows Tesla's heightened focus on safety," Ben Kallo, a Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst told Bloomberg. "Tesla has made safety a focus in the design and development of ... the Model S."
Elon Musk Is Hiring
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, a tech giant and the company's founder, made waves on Twitter by announcing today that he would be personally interviewing software engineers for high priority spots on the Tesla team. His very popular feed has millions of followers (he only follows 49 people). But he made no mention of the recall on the social network.