Latches connecting the second-row seat to the body frame may become loosened.
Tesla is recalling 1,228 Model S sedans to replace backseat latches that may not lock the backrest in place, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The metal striker on the left-hand side of the second-row seat may have a weak weld between the seat and the vehicle’s body, Tesla said. A change in production methods from May 10 through June 8 led to an “improper” alignment of the striker, which is a bracket that locks the seat upright so it does not fold. In a crash, a weak weld could cause the striker to come loose and the seat to buckle.
“Tesla will pick up the car at a location of the owner’s convenience, provide a Model S loaner if needed, perform the work and bring the car back to the owner a few hours later,” CEO Elon Musk said on his company’s website. Tesla service centers will install new mounting hardware to “ensure a proper joint” between the seat and the body frame, but the company did not specify a timeline for repairs. Affected owners can call the company at 1-650-681-5000.
In 2009, Tesla recalled 345 Roadsters – or roughly 75 percent of all its cars made at the time – to fix loose bolts on the rear wheel hub. In 2010, Tesla recalled 439 Roadster 2.0 and 2.5 models for electrical problems with the 12-volt auxiliary connector.
As it gets warmer, you should imagine yourself driving a sexy convertible. Our advice: Do not think of any car other than this Aston.
That's how I felt while driving a Ford Mustang convertible a few weeks ago, so I imagine the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante would make me channel James Brown's spirit, step back and kiss myself.
The Vanquish is an Aston that's worth the $300,000 admission price, seeing as it looks so incredibly bespoke and delicate in the way a Jaguar XKR convertible does not. Other Astons don't have that effect.
Would you buy the 2014 Fiat 500L over the 4-door MINI?
This is not the new MINI Countryman. What you see here is a 5-door hatch that takes a page directly from the British brand, right down to the black greenhouse and white roof.
It’s pretty clear that Fiat, with its new 2014 500L, is adapting MINI’s design evolution by making a larger, more accommodating 500, just as MINI did with its famous Cooper. But will Fiat be able to steal market share from MINI and the many other offerings in the segment?
It won't on style alone. Utilitarian though it may be, this thing ain’t a looker. If the original 500 was a cute little guppy, the 500L is an agitated blowfish. The same curvy front end with high-mounted driving lights doesn’t really work this time around, and there’s no denying a hint of Pontiac Aztek in those fenders. Maybe the look works in Europe, but it doesn’t translate here in the U.S. (think skinny jeans).
That said, the 500L just might be the perfect car for a European version of "Breaking Bad." Can’t you just picture the distraught lead character, Waltero, unable to make ends meet as an economics professor, darting through Rome to drop off bags of the blue stuff?
The half-million-dollar merger of the two Florida automakers may result in a host of new hand-built exotic cars.
Rossion Automotive has purchased Mosler Automotive in a deal that may see an expansion of obscure, hand-built exotic cars coming from South Florida.
If you haven't heard of either company, count yourself in with the rest of the country.
Rossion sells the Q1, a midengine kit car (shown in white, above) based entirely on the old British-built Noble M400, a fast and mostly unknown supercar.
Mosler, based in Riviera Beach, Fla., used to build turnkey midengine sports cars that were fully crash-tested and certified by the Transportation Department as a production vehicle. The last of these cars, the MT900S – later renamed the Raptor GTR and modified by a former employee – strapped 838 horsepower to a bespoke, lightweight chassis made from aluminum and carbon fiber. However, Mosler hadn't sold a car since 2010 – the company sold only about 200 cars in 26 years – and was trying to sell its assets since at least last fall.
After refusing a government request two weeks earlier, the automaker will conduct a recall but denies its vehicles are unsafe.
"Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group," the company said in a statement. "Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles."
Two weeks earlier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested the automaker recall the 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty for fuel tank leaks and fires related to rear-end collisions. At least 51 people have died in crashes where the vehicles ignited after being hit from behind, the federal agency said in an unusually detailed, 13-page report that tracked crash data from Chrysler and competitor vehicles. While the vehicles met all U.S. safety laws, NHTSA said that more drivers died from fuel-related fires in these Jeep models than in any competitor's models.
"The design defect is the placement of the fuel tanks in the position behind the axle and how they were positioned, including their height above the roadway," NHTSA said.
Revamped MyFord Touch system will be similar to one used in the F-150 pickup and will get another software update.
Ford has apparently come up with a way to fix its much-maligned MyFord Touch system, and it’s already being used on one of the automaker’s most popular vehicles.
Ford plans to add more physical buttons and knobs for volume and other basic functions to the largely touch-based infotainment system to counter the criticism and negative customer feedback encountered since MyFord Touch launched in 2010.
MyFord Touch was cited as the reason Ford dropped from fifth to 23rd in the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey in 2011, and fell to 27th in the 2012 results. Ahead of the J.D. Power IQS results that will be released tomorrow, Ford issued a press release yesterday that said 79 percent of its 2013 model-year vehicles have been sold with Sync and MyFord Touch – double the “take rate” for the HondaLink and Toyota Entune infotainment systems.
But to further allay any future damage, Ford will adopt the changes it made to MyFord Touch for its best-selling F-150 pickup.
High-performance ute most expensive in Q5 lineup
The 2014 Audi SQ5 high-performance SUV will cost $51,900 when it hits showrooms later this summer. The first S variant of the Q-line makes power with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivering 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque.
An eight-speed Tiptronic transmission will send power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system, which will help it get to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph.
Electronic license plates could reportedly save the state money, and they may even a flash warning if a driver is uninsured.
Physical owner's manuals that used to come with every car are giving way to electronic versions. And now the metal license plate attached to every car may be the next part to go digital.
South Carolina is considering whether to implement electronic license plates, or “e-tags,” for cars and trucks in the state. The plates employ an electrophoretic display similar to technology used in e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.
In addition to saving the state money and drivers the hassle of going to the DMV or waiting for a metal plate to arrive via the mail, e-tags could easily be changed and updated. They could also display words such as “STOLEN” or “AMBER ALERT” to warn the public and police of potential road hazards or "UNINSURED” to expose deadbeat drivers who are lacking proper insurance coverage.
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.