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Tesla recalls 53,000 cars over parking brake failure, blames supplier

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Tesla Model S

Tesla is recalling 53,000 vehicles globally after uncovering an issue that stops the parking brake from working properly.

In a statement, Tesla confirmed that the brakes on certain Model S and Model X vehicles could “prevent the parking brake from releasing”. The issue relates to cars built between February and October last year, of which 5% are expected to be affected. The good news is that the problem can be fixed for customers free of charge.

Tesla was quick to divert blame for the failure, describing how the problem is most likely the result of “a small gear that could have been manufactured improperly by our third-party supplier”. The company also insisted that there was no possible risk to customer safety as a result of the failure:

“We do not believe this issue could ever lead to a safety concern for our customers, and we have not seen a single accident or injury relating to it. However, in order to be overly cautious, we are going to be proactively replacing these parts to ensure that no issues arise."

Tesla S

According to Tesla, if the gear breaks, the parking brake would continue to keep the car from moving, but it would be stuck in place. That means you wouldn’t be able to pull away, which shouldn’t be a safety risk, but could certainly be very annoying.

But Tesla clarified that this specific failure wouldn’t cause the car’s brakes to no longer stop your car, and that it wouldn’t affect other parts of the braking system:

"There have been no reports of the parking brake system failing to hold a parked vehicle or failing to stop a vehicle in an emergency as a result of this condition, and this part has no impact on the car’s regular braking systems. We have also determined that only a very small percentage of gears in vehicles built during this period were manufactured improperly."

If you own an affected Tesla, you’ll shortly receive an official recall notice by email. This will include information on how to get your brakes replaced – Tesla says: “In the meantime, it is safe to continue regular use of your vehicle.”

Tesla claims it’ll take just 45 minutes to replace both brakes. Replacements begin immediately, and sufficient parts for all affected vehicles are expected to be procured by October 2017.

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