FREMONT, California (September 29, 2015) — In the same week that Tesla Motors launches its newest electric crossover car the Model X at its Fremont headquarters, the Tesla brand has also been identified as one of seven car makers using Takata air bags that could be potentially defective and subjected to recall.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified seven auto makers including Tesla who use Japanese-made Takata air bags and has sent letters to them requesting information about the specific ones installed in their vehicles. Tesla has stated that its air bags are not the same ones under recall, but they are cooperating with the NHTSA.
These auto manufacturers, which also include Mercedes, Jaguar-Land Rover, Suzuki, Volvo Trucks, Volkswagen and Spartan Motors, are the latest companies to come under the scrutiny of the NHTSA as it seeks to remove these defective airbags from cars in the United States.
More than19 million cars using the defective air bag inflators have already been recalled by 11 separate auto manufacturers since the defect was first discovered. To date, only about 4.4 million cars have undergone air bag replacements. The NHTSA is expected to request next month that their agency take over management of the recall from Takata.
The issue involves air bags that use ammonium nitrate as a propellant because this chemical degrades as it ages and has been found to rupture and spew out metal shrapnel. The metal fragments and explosive air bags have reportedly resulted in injuries and eight deaths. Tesla and the other companies identified are being asked to identify any airbags they install that use this propellant.
Tesla is Car of the Year
The Tesla brand has been Consumer Reports darling since its launch of the Model S vehicle with its highest ever score based on its performance and 200-mile range of power. The vehicle also was awarded 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
In fact, Consumer Reports provided the Model S with its highest ever score based on its design, performance and 200-mile range of battery power in 2014.
One thing that makes the Tesla Model S different from its electric predecessors is it’s flat battery packs are mounted under the floor providing a lower center of gravity and better performance and handling than other electric vehicles. This also allows for additional trunk space.
Today’s launch of the Tesla Model X has been much anticipated by consumers. The company already has a waiting list of buyers through next year with some 32,000 deposits, the Tesla Motors Club blog states.
Tesla Model S Electric Cars Complaints
The Tesla brand is relatively new among auto manufacturers and the company has been good at addressing the issues with these new vehicles as they come up. The initial launch of the Tesla Roadster was slow, but soon Tesla sales began to soar with its Model S in 2012. Over the past few years on the road the car has had some mostly minor hiccups.
According to the International Business Times, some of the issues experienced by Tesla owners include problems such as door handles that were too hot, failed to protract and prevented owners from getting into their cars; the front trunk lid that doesn’t always respond to touchscreen commands to open; and an EV charger adapter used to permit charging from multiple outlets has come apart.
While Tesla may have stood by their product and addressed these issues over the years with car owners by replacing or fixing defective parts and components, there are some owners whose vehicles could prove to be too much of a safety risk.
In fact, there have been more serious issues such as the car stalling while on the roadway and the touchscreen going blank, freezing or being non responsive. The touchscreen issue would prevent access to most of the controls on the vehicle. One new car owner even complained about a transmission problem as he drove off the lot.
It is unknown at this time if the air bags used by Tesla are the same ones subject to recall, but if the NHTSA determines that’s the case the company is certainly not alone.
Johnson Attorneys Group — Call Us at 800-235-6801
There are certainly many good car companies who deliver products that do not own up to their reputation and they may qualify under California Lemon Laws for a repurchase or refund.
If you own a Tesla Roadster or Model S vehicle that has spent a total of 30 days r more in the shop or has been taken in for repairs at least four times or the manufacturer or dealership is unable to fix it, you may have a claim under California Lemon Law. Also, if you have a legitimate safety risk in a vehicle you may also have a claim.
Johnson Attorneys Group provides a free consultation with an attorney to anyone who believes their vehicle is a lemon and would like to find out what options are available to them. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-235-6801. Under California lemon laws, attorneys fees are paid for