Tesla Seat Belt Design Halts Model 3 Deliveries To Australia

Image: Tesla
Image: Tesla

The so-called Highland update for Tesla’s popular Model 3 sedan has been long-awaited, and finally delivered for the 2024 model year. Tesla gave the car more range, but the biggest update was found in the interior. Unfortunately that interior revamp has meant that the Model 3 now runs afoul of Australian road legality, because the car now lacks an easily-attached car seat anchor point for the middle rear seat. The electric vehicle company has pulled all 2024 Model 3 units from delivery in the Antipodean nation, though it has not yet been determined whether Tesla will issue a recall for those models already delivered.

According to a report from, this technical compliance issue is a result of the removal of unobstructed access to a child-seat anchor point needed to be kosher with the motor vehicle compliance rulebook. It is a requirement for five-passenger vehicles with folding rear seats to have an accessible top tether point for child seats in all three positions. It seems in previous Model 3 units, the top tether point for the rear center seat was accessed through a flap on the parcel shelf. The updated parcel shelf did away with that flap, instead giving access by removing the center headrest. Australian Design Rules require the tether to be accessible “without the use of tools” and considers the headrest a tool.

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“We understand that these changes may lead to a delay in the delivery and want to assure you that resolving this matter is our top priority. We expect to recommence deliveries within the coming weeks,” it continues.

“Our team will be in touch to provide further updates on your delivery as soon as possible. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.”

It is possible Tesla may be able to retrofit the pre-facelift Model 3 parcel shelf, which included the necessary access flap. It isn’t clear why Tesla removed the flap for the 2024 model year.

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