Hundreds of thousands of Tesla vehicles are in need of an over-the-air update to iron out a bug related to the seatbelt chime. Some 817,143 cars have a software problem that may prevent the audible seatbelt reminder from being automatically activated after starting the car without the driver buckled in.
Plagued with this issue are the Model 3 and Model Y from all model years along with certain 2021-2022 Model S and Model X units. Thankfully, owners of affected vehicles won’t have to make the trip to a Tesla shop since the fix will be pushed OTA. Interestingly, the issue was originally discovered on January 10 by the Automobile Testing & Research Institute (KATRI) in South Korea. Since then, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken notice of the software bug.
According to the document released by the NHTSA, owners will receive notification letters from April. Needless to say, the software fix will be applied free of charge. The muted chime means these 817,143 cars fail to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”
It should be mentioned this software glitch does not impact the audible seat belt reminder chime from kicking in once the vehicle reaches 14 mph (22 km/h) if the driver doesn’t have the seatbelt buckled in. In addition, the visual seatbelt reminder works at all times.
Tesla is already addressing the software problem courtesy of the 2021.43.101.1 software, which was made available for the Model Y and Model 3 on January 27. The very next day, a similar OTA update was introduced for the more expensive Model X and Model S. Early this month, Tesla will roll out the firmware release 2022.4.5, which will include the fix, for the vehicles delivered already.
As an owner, you won’t have to do anything, with the obvious exception of making sure you have a working Internet connection.