Fix for Tesla Model 3 compliance breach revealed as deliveries resume

The Tesla Model 3 has recommenced deliveries after a breach of Australian motor-vehicle regulations was discovered and fixed.

Deliveries of the 2024 Tesla Model 3 electric car have recommenced after a nine-day pause while a breach of Australian motor-vehicle compliance regulations was addressed.

There is still no guidance on when the affected Model 3 vehicles delivered prior to the discovery of the compliance breach – which relates to the child-seat top-tether anchor points for the middle-rear seat – will be recalled to resolve the issue.

On 9 January, Drive was the first to report that the Model 3 was under investigation by federal regulators for removing access to the top-tether anchor point for the rear middle seat that is required to gain approval for use on Australian roads.

The child-seat anchor point was fitted to the vehicle, however it was hidden beneath the parcel shelf behind the rear seats – in breach of rules which require the top tether to be accessible “without the use of tools”.

Tesla Australia paused customer deliveries from 5:00pm on 17 January 2024, and advised on 24 January 2024 they would recommence “in the coming week”.

Images posted on Facebook show the compliance breach has been addressed with the fitment of a new parcel shelf, with a flap in the centre to provide access to the top-tether point.

It appears to be similar to – or the same part as – the parcel shelf in the pre-update Tesla Model 3 sold from 2019 to late 2023, which also included a flap for accessing the middle-rear top tether.

Image credit: Ivy Tam in the Tesla Model 3 & Y group on Facebook.

Drive has seen fleets of unregistered Tesla Model 3 electric cars parked behind Tesla delivery centres with their rear seats and parcel shelves removed, awaiting fitment of the updated parts.

When the BYD Atto 3 electric car was found to have broken the same rule in 2022 – by hiding the top-tether point under the carpet covering the rear seatback – the manufacturer was able to bring vehicles back into compliance by cutting a hole in the carpet.

Tesla Australia is expected to be required to recall affected Model 3s delivered between the first hand-overs in late December 2023, and the pause on deliveries from mid-January, however it is yet to issue a recall notice.


Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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