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As the staff of Tesla Motors has learned all too painfully over the last several years, mass producing a car is no trivial task even if "mass" is only a few hundred. Now that Tesla is churning out Roadsters at a more or less steady pace it seems that the inevitable has finally happened. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered the first safety recall of the Roadster. A total of 345 Roadsters built between March 2008 and April 2009 will have to return to home base for some repairs. It turns out that in assembling the electric sports cars, the bolts that attach the rear hub to the suspension flange may not have been properly torqued. As a result, the rear wheels can come loose which is highly undesirable scenario under the best of conditions. In a car which has the performance capabilities of the Roadster, it can be deadly. If you happen to be one of the several hundred owners of a Roadster and you haven't yet gotten a message from Tesla, you might want to give them a call ASAP.

Update: We heard from Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad who told us that Tesla will be making house calls to the affected owners to check out and repair the Roadsters. The problem was found after an owner complained about the handling and the car was investigated. The root cause was an issue at the Lotus factory in England where primary assembly is done and as usual with recalls, there is no charge to owners for the repair.

  • No. 2 - Tesla Roadsters are in production, albeit in small numbers still, and the company is still with us (for now at least). We've driven it and it's a wonderful sports car - even disregarding the powertrain. Factor in that electric drive and it's amazing. Unfortunately, recent financial issues have threatened the company's future. The investors seem committed to making Tesla survival so far.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with the headline: these recalls are part of what a real car manufacturer has to deal with. That would not keep me from ordering one.

      - Nick -
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't recall the last time a major auto manufacturer had a recall due to the potential for the suspension to fall off...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Didn't the Toyota Tundra have such an issue?
        • 5 Years Ago

        It's a Lotus problem so it's not unique to the Roadster. Some Elise and Exige models may also have been affected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is Tesla the only thing the writers here post about?
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha well said nick. and yes this is actually normal for production cars, things happen thats why there are safety tests and recall measures in place. i am pretty sure ford, gm and company all had issues with their first cars (exploding gas tanks and so forth) the recalls protocols were not around back then so who really knows, but yes things have changed and tesla is working as best they can to deliver a quality product. there is only so much they can do though, it needs to be out being driven every day, problems come up and then they are fixed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Chris: Well, it's the only *shipping* full electric car, so it's like complaining that a Space exploration blog being too much about NASA.

        - Nick -
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have had a recall to check for faulty electronics on my Peugeot 308... which luckily was not one of the affected models. These things happen, and as has been said this is a Lotus issue, and I am guessing, when push comes to shove, it will be Lotus that ends up holding the bill on this one.

      Were I fortunate enough to afford a Tesla, even the S, and it would not be this issue that would stop me also.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "This is the car company that everyone should be talking about. The Model S is a regular sedan (not a crackerbox smart car) that will get up to 300 miles per charge and you can charge it in 45 minutes. It is quite affordable and well worth the cost when you compare it to the future Chevy"

      To say the Model S is affordable when Tesla claims it will cost $57,000 minimum is a bit much. Yes it should qualify for a tax credit but the 300 mile version will certainly be more than $57K. If the Roadster is any indication that $57k price is probably low. The Roadster originall was well under 100K. The Volt is expected to cost 40K and is NOT a pure electric car so I don't see the comparison.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a good example of how Tesla is not doing any (or enough) DVPR, as what an OE car manufacturer should be doing.
      And is the general public finally noticing that Tesla is basically trying to be an OE car company selling EV conversions on existing car platforms (elise and mercedes CLS)?

      There is much "automotive engineering" that Tesla still has to learn to become an OE car company, especially in respect to chassis engineering practices to be an OE. This applies to the whole product design cycle, including the DVPR part. IMHO, I think they are spending much more on building dealerships than engineering.

      To Tesla's credit, they do have a strong foothold on the battery subsystem technologies.

      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the car company that everyone should be talking about. The Model S is a regular sedan (not a crackerbox smart car) that will get up to 300 miles per charge and you can charge it in 45 minutes. It is quite affordable and well worth the cost when you compare it to the future Chevy "Doh...lt I mean Volt," which will only get 40 miles per charge and cost relatively the same. If we actually had a reliable (read nuclear) mix of renewable energy sources, electric cars would be a great alternative. No emissions and no worry about how much you drive. People would be free to go more places and save money in the process by not having to buy gas. That money would be spent, meaning more jobs. For some reason the dirt people and liberals can't seem to wrap their heads around this solution. Instead they come up with a tax scheme, that solves nothing and lines the pockets of people like Al Gore. All the solutions to all the problems are knocking on the door waiting to come in. Instead we want to go into debt, creat new taxes, and push inferior vehicles and energy sources onto people. Tesle is even going to come out with a more affordable $30,000 vehicle that will blow any traditional American automaker out of the market. The only problem I can see is that we will have to continue to subsidize Chrysler and Government Motors due to Oidiots relationship with the UAW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tesla wouldn't really have to recall the cars, ie, bring them back to the HQ? I imagine have a local mechanic properly torquing the bolt would be good.

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