Airbag recall reveals slow pace of Coda electric vehicle sales

Coda Automotive, the start-up Los Angles electric car company, said it started to sell its $37,250 car in March but has been mum about sales figures.

While Coda still isn’t talking publically about how many cars it is selling, one figure came out in a recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Coda appears to have delivered 78 vehicles at most, according to the recall, which will fix side curtain airbags that were not installed properly and might not deploy in the event of an accident.


Tesla Motors, a start-up electric car company headquartered in Palo Alto, has delivered about the same number of its $100,000 Model S luxury cars after launching production in late June and has reservations for thousands more once it ramps up manufacturing. Nissan has sold 3,500 of its electric Leaf through the end of July.

When you toss in plug-in hybrids – cars that can travel solely on electric power until the battery charge runs out and then have a gasoline engine that extends the range – Coda’s sales are almost immeasurable. Sales of Toyota’s plug-in Prius are up to 5,500. Chevrolet has sold almost 11,000 Volts.

Coda imports mostly assembled vehicles – body, chassis and battery pack – from China and completes assembly at a contract facility in Benicia.


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