A Tesla Model 3 buyer has shared images of how the American company is fixing a compliance issue with the updated Highland model that led it to pause deliveries.

    User Ivy Tam on the Tesla Model 3 & Y Australia group on Facebook shared images of the top-tether child seat anchor point behind the centre rear seat, which has now been exposed.

    This was previously covered in updated Highland models, of which deliveries only recently began in December 2023 before Tesla had to stop them as the anchor point wasn’t compliant with Australian Design Rules.

    “Job looks flush and as expected,” said Ms Tam. “My delivery guy said the car is checked three times, upon arriving at delivery centre, after repair and before delivery to customer.”

    Tesla Australia notified customers on January 24 that deliveries would resume this week.

    “We are pleased to advise that we are finalising this matter by ensuring access to the vehicle’s rear-centre seat top-tether restraint anchorage point,” the company said in an email to customers.

    “At this time, we expect to recommence deliveries in the coming week where your order will be prioritised for delivery.”

    Tesla has yet to confirm when it will issue a recall to rectify the issue on vehicles already delivered.

    Tesla halted deliveries on January 17, advising customers there was a technical compliance issue but saying it expected deliveries to resume within weeks.

    Uniquely, Australian Design Rules (ADRs) stipulate any rear seat with a seatbelt must feature a top-tether point for a child seat, though ADR 34 requires it to be more accessible based on the wording.

    ADR 34.6.1 states “clearance shall be provided around each ‘Child Restraint Anchor Fitting’ to allow latching and unlatching, without the use of tools, of the ‘Attaching Clip’ to the ‘Child Restraint Anchor Fitting’ when it is installed in the vehicle”.

    The pre-update version of the Tesla Model 3 had a top-tether anchor point for the rear middle seat that could be accessed by a flap on the parcel shelf.

    It’s worth noting the updated Model 3 does have accessible top-tether points, as well as ISOFIX points, on the two outboard rear seats.

    In 2022 the BYD Atto 3 was subject to the same technical compliance issue as its rear middle top-tether point couldn’t be accessed, with carpet on the seat back blocking it.

    BYD’s local distributor EVDirect was forced to pause deliveries for several weeks until the problem was resolved. It also recalled already delivered examples to fix the issue.

    Honda made the decision to classify the current-generation HR-V as a four-seater rather than a five-seater in Australia due to there being no top-tether point for the rear middle seat, removing the rear middle seat belt.

    While it didn’t explicitly say this compliance breach was the reason, safety authority ANCAP declined to carry over the pre-update Model 3’s five-star rating, leaving the updated model unrated for now.

    If you place an order for a Model 3 today, Tesla’s website says you’ll take delivery sometime between February and April 2024.

    MORE: 2024 Tesla Model 3 review
    MORE: Everything Tesla Model 3

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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