Tesla Model 3 Sales Halted in Australia Due to Violation of Rules

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Rules breach forces Tesla Model 3 stop sale in Australia

Tesla has temporarily stopped deliveries of its recently updated ‘Highland’ Model 3 in Australia due to a compliance issue. The issue relates to the absence of an accessible rear center top-tether point, which violates Australian Design Rules (ADRs). Customers were notified of the delivery pause, which is effective from January 17, 2024. Tesla expressed regret for the inconvenience and emphasized its commitment to resolving the technical compliance matter promptly in collaboration with relevant authorities, expecting deliveries to resume in the coming weeks.

It remains unclear whether there will be any impact on vehicles already delivered or if a recall will be initiated. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts is investigating the concerns raised about child restraint anchorage points in the 2024 Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Model 3 Sales Halted in Australia Due to Violation of Rules
Tesla Model 3 Sales Halted in Australia Due to Violation of Rules (Credits: BNN Breaking)

Despite the updated Model 3 being certified as a five-seater according to Australian government approval documents, Australian Design Rules stipulate that any rear seat with a seatbelt must have a top-tether point for a child seat. ADR 34 requires this point to be more accessible, as specified in ADR 34.6.1.

The pre-update version of the Tesla Model 3 had a top-tether anchor point for the rear middle seat that could be accessed through a flap on the parcel shelf. However, the updated Model 3 retains the rear middle top-tether anchor point, but it is inaccessible due to the absence of a flap on the parcel shelf. Notably, the updated Model 3 does have accessible top-tether points, as well as ISOFIX points, on the two outboard rear seats.

Tesla Australia has not yet provided a response to inquiries about the situation. The possibility of addressing the compliance issue by removing the rear middle seat belt and reclassifying the electric sedan as a four-seater, similar to decisions made by other manufacturers in the past, has been suggested.

In a similar incident in 2022, the BYD Atto 3 faced a comparable compliance issue with its rear middle top-tether point. The problem resulted in a pause in deliveries by BYD’s local distributor until the issue was resolved, including a recall of already delivered units. Honda had previously opted to classify the HR-V as a four-seater in Australia due to the absence of a top-tether point for the rear middle seat. Safety authority ANCAP, without explicitly citing the compliance breach, declined to carry over the pre-update Model 3’s five-star rating, leaving the updated model unrated for the time being.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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