Tesla sent a 2022 Model X out for delivery despite it missing a bracket that provides additional reinforcement to the body structure at the second-row seat. The automaker has been forced to replace that vehicle free of charge thanks to a recall action.
Without the reinforcement bracket, the car does not meet the minimum loading requirements set by regulators in FMVSS 207 and 210. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that second-row occupants may not be properly restrained in an accident, increasing the risk of injury.
According to NHTSA documents, the Model X was actually one of a handful of pre-production five-seater test vehicles. Although it was built to spec in February, testing revealed that the then-current design did not comply with minimum loading requirements.
The design of the vehicles set for series production was updated and the pre-production trial vehicles were placed on a containment hold to prevent their release from the factory. In March, though, the updated specifications were retrofitted onto some of the trial Model Xs.
This specific model, however, was released from the factory without the new bracket installed, as a result of “an operational oversight.” On March 31, it was delivered to its new owner and by April 6, when it completed an audit of its manufacturing, Telsa found that it had delivered the Model X in error.
Tesla managed to contact the customer, though, and has now replaced the vehicle at no cost to them. The new vehicle has been fitted with the body reinforcement bracket.