Tesla Motors has become, for the time being, the face of U.S. electric vehicles. After making news with the release of its all-electric high-performance roadster, and more recently for its partnership with German automaker Daimler (owner of Mercedes-Benz), the young startup now has some less pleasant news to report.
The company is recalling 345 of its Roadster sports cars produced before April 22. It wants to inspect their suspensions as it suspects that a "small percentage" of the Roadsters have improperly installed bolts in their rear chassis, possibly compromising the suspension. Tesla blames automaker Lotus for the problems. Lotus assembles the Roadsters in Britain, and then ships them to California for redistribution inside the U.S.
Tesla has said the problem does not affect the $109,000 USD car's powertrains and no accidents have been reported.
Lotus is also negatively impacted by the problem, as apparently it made the same mistake on some of its sports cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has issued a recall on 27 of its 2009 Elise and Exige vehicles.
The 345 returned Roadsters represent over two-thirds of the 500 units currently shipped. The problem was actually found by one alert owner, who reported that their vehicle was experiencing "uncharacteristic handling."
To minimize inconvenience on customers, the company is looking to send technicians to their homes to make repairs, or to take the cars to a service shop nearby. Greg Zanghi, Tesla's director of service and parts operations states, "We plan to do everything we can to address this matter swiftly and keep customers satisfied."