Tesla Motors stock wavered on November 20 after the company issued a voluntary worldwide recall to inspect every one of the 90,000 Model S cars the company has ever built.
After an owner in Europe reported that a front passenger belt physically separated from the seat, Tesla claims they inspected 3,000 vehicles to cover every production cycles since the first $100,000 Model S was first delivered in 2012. Tesla reported it found no similar problem across its entire production range.
But after being dubbed, “Model S electric car is the best performing car ever tested by Consumer Reports,” and being awarded “100 points,” Tesla decided, in an abundance of caution, to recall all 90,000 vehicles on the road to inspect front seat belts. Tesla said they have no concerns regarding seat belts in the rear of Model S.
Tesla has 69 Tesla service centers in the U.S., and Musk regularly states that 92 percent of all customers live within 100 miles of a service center. But the other 7,200 will have a long trip to get the inspection or they can wait until a traveling Tesla service ranger is in their more remote locations.
Tesla suggested an optional “do-it-yourself” seat belt diagnostic of pulling on the lap portion of the seat belt with at least 80 pounds.
Tesla pioneered over-the-air warranty updates and product fixes that the entire automotive industry is now in the process of embracing to save consumers and dealers billions of dollars annually. But this time, Tesla will have to go “old school” and inspect each car.
The recall was announced during trading hours, and the Tesla stock (TSLA-NASDAQ) closed at $220.01, down less than a percent. Although there has been no further decline in after-hours trading this weekend, Tesla’s stock has been a Silicon Valley dog this year. Since peaking at $280.02 in June, the shares have relentlessly plummeted.
Breitbart News reported in October that while Tesla stock was plunging -10 percent, the company was being hit by the “double whammy of bad news as Consumer Reports pulled its ‘best car ever’ designation, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said the company is illegally ‘bird dogging’ to hype sales.”
Consumer Reports (CR) pulled Tesla’s perfect 100-point score awarded just the month before and revised the score for the $127,820 Model S to a “worse than average” 43 after receiving 1,400 responses by owners who complained about a litany of squeaks, rattles, and multiple electric motor replacements.
Other common complaints were warped brake rotors; leaking battery cooling pumps; out-of-alignment trunk and hatchback latches; persistent wheel-alignment issues; and door handles that often fail to “present” themselves as drivers approach their car.
The Sacramento Bee’s website also broke a September 29 letter to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk from Frank Alvarez, chief of DMV’s Investigations Division, stating that a Tesla program to pay up to $25,000 in referral fees to Model S owners that refer prospects “violates California laws” prohibited under the Truth in Lending Act as “bird dog fees.”
There have been numerous comments on the Tesla Motors Club website voicing worries about the CR report and the risk to owners for expensive repair costs after their warranties expire. A number of owners claim that Tesla under warranty has had to replace the entire electric drive train of their Model S more than once.