Tesla has announced an unexpected halt to the delivery of its updated Model 3 vehicles in Australia as of the close of business on January 17, 2024. The stoppage is linked to technical compliance matters currently under investigation by Australian federal regulators, which could potentially affect the vehicle's legality for road use.
Safety Rating on Hold Amid Non-Compliance With Regulations
Australian federal authorities have raised a red flag over the new Model 3’s safety compliance with respect to a missing middle child-seat anchor point. Under the Australian Design Rules (ADRs), five-seat passenger vehicles with three seatbelts across the rear need to have an accessible top-tether point for securing child seats in all three seating positions.
A top-tether point for the middle rear seat was fitted to the previous Tesla Model 3 (2019-2023) which was accessible by a flap on the parcel shelf behind the rear headrests.
This non-complance with ADR requirements has resulted in the withholding of the updated Model 3's five-star safety rating, previously awarded to its predecessor.
Customer Advice from Tesla
Customers were advised via email today that deliveries will be paused indefinitely "from close of business 17 January 2024" due to a "technical compliance matter that we are working closely with the relevant authorities to resolve."
It is unknown how long the deliveries of the updated Model 3 will be halted for, but based on what we've observed with the BYD Atto 3's non-compliance with the same issue, it could last anywhere from a few weeks to months.
Tesla has also yet to advise what will happen to existing deliveries of the 2024 Tesla Model 3. Similar to the BYD Atto 3, vehicles may get recalled and have the middle anchor-point rectified at service centres.
ANCAP’s Safety Rating Criteria
The Australasian New-Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has stated that the previous five-star safety rating cannot be applied to the updated Model 3 at this time, rendering the 2024 vehicles 'unrated'. ANCAP’s decision further highlights the gravity of the situation and the importance of compliance with safety standards.
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