Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Tesla has issued voluntary recalls for nearly half a million vehicles to address potential failures in its trunk latching systems, as first reported by Barron’s. The recalls apply to all Model 3 units released between 2017 and 2020, as well as certain Model S units.
For the Model 3, Tesla believes the opening and closing of the trunk could damage the cable harness attaching the rearview camera, causing the camera to unexpectedly fail. The Model S issue is more serious, potentially preventing the front trunk from fully latching.
According to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 475,318 vehicles subject to the recall, comprising 356,309 Model 3 vehicles and 119,109 Model S vehicles. Tesla estimates that only 1 percent of the Model 3 vehicles will actually display the defect, compared to 14 percent of the recalled Model S vehicles.
The Model S recall is particularly concerning because the issue affects the front trunk, which could obstruct the driver’s view of the road if it flies open while driving. In the affected Model S cars, “the front trunk latch assembly may be misaligned, preventing the secondary hood latch from engaging,” Tesla told NHTSA in an official filing.
Since the Model S problem is a misalignment rather than a damaged component, Tesla believes that repositioning the latch device at a service center will resolve the issue. For affected Model 3 owners, Tesla has pledged to install a new cable harness and guide protector free of charge.