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.