Recall Roundup: Tesla, Hyundai, Ford/Mercury

Tesla Model S Police

Tesla-Motors-symbol (1)

Tesla Motors Inc., unable to fully explain a broken seat belt discovered in early November by a European owner of its all-electric Model S sedan, is now recalling the entire Model S fleet.

Tesla has sent an email to all 90,000 Model S owners worldwide, urging them to visit one of the company’s service centers for a safety inspection. Tesla said it has inspected 3,000 more vehicles without detecting the same seatbelt problem, but it decided to act out of an abundance of caution.

“In the event of a crash, a seat belt in this condition would not provide full protection,” the email says. “First and foremost, we care about your safety.”

In sheer numbers, it is the largest recall in the history of Tesla, which last called back the Model S in January 2014 when the company discovered that faulty home wiring could cause Tesla’s chargers to overheat and cause a fire. Tesla also installed a battery shield on the Model S in 2014 to protect against fires, but did not issue a formal recall.

Tesla said the new problem involves the front seat belts, which are anchored to the lower frame of the Model S with a pre-tensioner that pulls the seat belt tight in an accident to restrain the occupant. It is connected to two anchor plates bolted together.

In the case of the European customer, the bolt holding those two plates together was not properly installed, causing the seat belt to be disconnected. It was discovered when a woman in the front passenger seat turned to speak to passengers in the back seat, putting pressure on the seat belt and causing it to come loose.



Hyundai Motor America is recalling certain model 2011-2012 Sonata vehicles. The brake pedal stopper pad can deteriorate allowing the brake light switch plunger to remain extended when the brake pedal is released.


If the brake light switch plunger doesn’t retract as it should when the pedal is not being pressed, the brake lights may stay on continually. That means drivers behind the car wouldn’t know when it’s slowing down or stopping. Additionally,  the transmission can be shifted out of park without depressing the brake pedal. In both cases, there’s an increased risk of a crash.


Hyundai will notify owners. Dealers will replace the brake pedal stopper pad with an improved part, free of charge. The recall is expected to start on January 11, 2016. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-671-3059.  


Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to


Ford Motor Co. is recalling 451,865 Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2010 and 2011 model years to fix a potential fuel tank problem that could lead to a fire.

The canister purge valve in some vehicles may work improperly, which can cause pressure in the fuel tank to change, the automaker said.

“Repeated pressure changes inside the tank could result in a crack on the top of the tank, possibly allowing fuel to leak,” potentially causing a fire, Ford said.

The company said it is unaware of any fires, accidents or injuries related to the issue.

The recalled vehicles were built between July 21, 2008, and March 4, 2011, at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant. Ford said 411,205 of the vehicles are in the U.S., 33,605 are in Canada and 7,055 are in Mexico.

Ford said dealers will inspect and repair the affected vehicles for free.

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