Tesla is recalling approximately 7,300 of its 2021-2022 Model X crossovers to address an issue that may cause their side-curtain airbags to deploy incorrectly if the windows are open, the company announced earlier this month. In addition, it is re-issuing a recall for its Boombox exterior noisemaker feature that in Elon Musk’s view was “shut down by the fun police” for interfering with sounds the vehicles are required to make while in motion in order to be identified by pedestrians with vision impairment.
Tesla says the side airbag issue was discovered after abnormal performance was observed in internal testing. Tesla’s engineers noticed that the side air bags did not deploy as intended under certain circumstances surrounding the windows being lowered, reducing the devices’ effectiveness at mitigating passenger ejection in the event of an accident. Tesla says it has modified the airbag mounting brackets to clear trim on the A-pillar, eliminating the issue.
According to Tesla, only about 50% of the Model Xs that rolled off the line have the defective airbag modules installed in them and that all remain under warranty. A new design was put into production on April 2, and all vehicles assembled after that point were built without the defective parts. Tesla says owners will be notified by June so that existing airbags can be replaced.
Tesla has also initiated a new recall campaign for 600,000 previously sold models to address lingering issues with its Boombox feature that plays noises over its vehicles’ external speakers. These speakers are required to play noises that make the otherwise silent vehicles audible to those with vision impairment, as well as pedestrians in general, and NHTSA took issue with Tesla allowing sounds to be played over the pedestrian noises. Tesla’s new campaign supersedes the one issued earlier in 2022 and includes provisions for vehicles equipped with Summon or Smart Summon that already had the fix performed.