SB-19-20-001 – Replace Front Passenger Airbag – 2014-2016 Tesla Model S

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January 7, 2019 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 19V002000

Passenger Frontal Air Bag Inflator May Explode

An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.

 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V002

Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.

Components AIR BAGS

Potential Number of Units Affected 68,673

 

Summary

Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling all 2014-2016 Model S vehicles equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.

 

Remedy

Tesla will notify owners, and Tesla Service Centers will replace the passenger frontal air bag modules, free of charge. The recall began May 29, 2019. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla’s number for this recall is SB-19-20-001.

 

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Check if your Tesla has a Recall

 



IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL NOTICE

 

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<City, State, ZIP>

 

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NHTSA Recall Code: 19V-002

 

Dear Tesla Owner,

This notice is sent to you in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”), has decided that a defect relating to motor vehicle safety exists in certain Model Year (“MY”) 2014 – 2016 Model S vehicles. Our records show that you are the owner of a vehicle affected by this action. This notice is a follow-up to an interim notice that Tesla mailed you earlier this year about this action.

 

REASON FOR THIS RECALL 

Tesla has determined that a defect may exist in certain MY 2014 – 2016 Tesla Model S vehicles equipped with Takata non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators in front passenger air bag systems. The propellant in these inflators may degrade after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity and temperature cycling. Degraded propellant can cause the inflator to explode during airbag deployment. If the inflator explodes, sharp metal fragments could strike vehicle occupants, resulting in serious injury or death.

 

WHAT TESLA WILL DO 

Tesla will replace the air bag in your vehicle free of charge. Replacement parts are now available.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO 

Tesla will soon contact you to schedule an appointment to repair your vehicle. You may also schedule an appointment online in your Tesla Account or through your Tesla app. If you require technical assistance while scheduling an appointment online or through the app, please contact your nearest Tesla Service Center by calling 1-877-79-TESLA (1-877-798-3752) or by visiting https://www.tesla.com/ findus. Please be advised that your appointment will take approximately 1 hour. However, we may need to keep your vehicle for a slightly longer period of time.

We want to ensure that your vehicle provides the highest possible level of safety. For more information, FAQs, and other details related to this recall, please visit  https://www.tesla.com/support/model-s-safety-update.

If you believe that Tesla has failed or is unable to remedy this defect without charge and within a reasonable time, you may submit a complaint to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, by calling  1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or by visiting www.safercar.gov.

 

Federal law requires any lessor who receives a notification of a determination of a safety-related defect or noncompliance pertaining to any leased motor vehicle to send the notice to the lessee within 10 days.

 

TESLA, INC.


3 Affected Products

Vehicle

MAKE MODEL YEAR
TESLA MODEL S 2014-2016

 


7 Associated Documents

Defect Notice Recall 573 Report

RCLRPT-19V002-9570.PDF 213.998KB

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Recall Acknowledgement

RCAK-19V002-7311.pdf 245.025KB

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Remedy Instructions and TSB

RCRIT-19V002-8788.pdf 246.819KB

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ISSUED Interim Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)

RIONL-19V002-8475.pdf 188.902KB

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ISSUED Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)

RCONL-19V002-3677.pdf 105.94KB

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Recall Quarterly Report #1, 2019-2

RCLQRT-19V002-6720.PDF 211.149KB

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Recall Quarterly Report #2, 2019-3

RCLQRT-19V002-0699.PDF 211.25KB

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Recalls Documents

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/documentList.xhtml?docId=19V002&docType=RCL

 


1 Associated Investigation

Air Bag Inflator Rupture
NHTSA ID: EA15001
Dated opened: February 24, 2015

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers. All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.

During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers. Nonetheless, at ODI’s insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation. The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures. As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.

Takata’s initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida. Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas. Takata’s testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions. During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.

Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina. Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls. Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity. Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing. All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.

The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time. ODI’s investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.

The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492


 

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