The NHTSA reports a total of 14 safety recalls for the 2019 Tesla Model 3. Due to Rodimus Prime’s configuration he was only subject to 3 of them at the time he was sold. Not bad considering that most of the reported recalls are all software adjustments handled by over-the-air-updates.
Back in December of 2021 Tesla sent out a vehicle recall notice to “inspect and retrofit the trunk lid harness.” What is that you ask? The recall notice explains it as:
“On certain Model 3 vehicles, the trunk lid harness is equipped with a solid core coaxial cable that provides the rearview camera feed for visibility on the center display. Over time, repeated opening and closing of the trunk lid may cause excessive wear to the coaxial cable. If the wear causes the core of the coaxial cable to separate, the rearview camera feed is not visible on the center display. Unavailability of the rearview camera display may affect the driver’s rear view. We are not aware of any crashes or injuries relating to this condition.”
My favorite part of the recall notice though was this part:
“If you experience a loss of rearview camera display, you may continue to operate the vehicle by performing a shoulder check and using your mirrors when backing. Tesla will contact you to schedule a service appointment when parts become available in your region and inspect and retrofit your vehicle, all free of charge.”
There is a typo in the original recall notice: they forgot to include the word “up” when educating drivers that you do not need a backup camera to back up a vehicle. Hilarious. Though in the Tesla Model 3 the visibility is horrible using the rearview mirror. I would have amended this text to read “If you experience a loss of rearview camera display, open your drivers side door, stick your head out as far as you can, and backup slowly; being careful not to let your open door hit your garage.
I did not experience any issues related to this recall which is great because after a full year Tesla never did have the parts available to correct this issue.
In November of 2022 another safety recall notice arrived in my mailbox, NHTSA Recall No 22V-702 indicating that Rodimus was not in compliance with FMVSS No. 118 “Power operated window, partition and roof panel systems” To fix this a future software update would be coming to the car to turn off one of my favorite features. This one really pisses me off, let me explain why.
One of my favorite Tesla features in the Georgia Summer heat is a button in the Tesla mobile app named VENT. As you might guess, an owner can press the button and the 4 car windows automatically lower about an inch or so. Press the button a second time and they close which is very useful if your car is VENTING and an afternoon shower pops up. The beauty of this is that since it’s controlled via the app I don’t need line-of-site to the car to use it. Well some dumbass out in the world decided to stick a body part in this gap and then close the window and got pinched and so now Tesla is being ordered to remove this feature because there is no sensor in the windows or the doorframe to detect when someone is being stupid. Thanks a lot dumbass!
In December 2022 NHTSA Recall No: 22V-798 arrived in my mailbox. This one involves the “second-row left seat belt buckle or a seat belt anchor” that if not properly fastened to the correct specifications may result in the seat belt system, and I love how they phrase this one… “not performing as designed in a crash, why may increase the risk of an injury.”
This one will require a trip to a service center for an inspection and “where necessary, reassemble and fasten the components to correct specifications”
If you dig around the NHTSA database at the remaining recalls most of them involve software glitches that are all corrected via over-the-air updates to the car, which basically means like any computer these days its important to let your car keep itself up-to-date, a problem made simple by the Tesla software.