U.S. car security company asks Tesla to recall 158,716 older automobiles over touchscreen glitches

Prospects take a look at a Tesla Motors Inc. Mannequin X electrical car on show on the firm’s showroom in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) requested Tesla in a letter on Wednesday to recall 158,716 of its Mannequin S and Mannequin X automobiles manufactured earlier than 2019, after homeowners complained of touchscreen glitches that led to the lack of a number of safety-related options.

The affected automobiles, made at Tesla’s Fremont, California, auto plant, embrace Tesla Mannequin S sedans made between 2012 and 2018, and Mannequin X SUVs in mannequin years from 2016 to 2018.

Tesla can refuse to conduct the recall, however must current a full rationalization of why to NHTSA, which may then suggest additional motion. A recall of 158,716 automobiles would characterize round 10% of Tesla’s lifetime reported manufacturing by the tip of 2020. Tesla produced its millionth electrical car in Mar. 2020, CEO Elon Musk tweeted on the time, and within the final three quarters of 2020 the corporate produced greater than 400,000 extra automobiles.

Information of the letter was beforehand reported by Reuters.

The reminiscence gadgets in some Tesla MCUs have a restricted “write cycle,” which implies they — and due to this fact the media management unit itself — will not work properly, or in any respect, after they hit a sure variety of program or erase cycles.

Homeowners of affected Tesla automobiles beforehand instructed CNBC that the show on their media management items (or MCUs) would typically go clean, partly or in complete. The touchscreen points interfered with drivers’ skill to make use of warmth, air con, defrost and defogging techniques of their automobiles, or to make use of their rear view cameras and Tesla Autopilot options whereas parking and driving.

Within the letter, despatched to Tesla’s vp of authorized Al Prescott, the federal car security authority wrote that Tesla’s MCU points may improve the chance of drivers crashing because of the “potential lack of audible chimes, driver sensing, and alerts” which might be a part of Tesla Autopilot, the corporate’s superior driver help system.

Media management unit failure charges have been as excessive as 17% in older Tesla Mannequin S automobiles (created from 2012 to 2015) and as excessive as 4% for automobiles made by Tesla from 2016 to 2018, the letter stated. And the MCU failures are anticipated to extend as automobiles age and stay in use, NHTSA stated, citing Tesla projections.

“Given Tesla’s tasks of MCU repairs, even MY [model year] 2018 topic automobiles will expertise 100% failure of the MCU inside roughly 10 years,” NHTSA investigators wrote.

Tesla beforehand supplied a “guarantee growth” to assuage prospects upset over the defect. As CNBC reported then, some homeowners who had paid for media management unit replacements out of pocket, would be capable to recoup their prices below the expanded guarantee.

Learn the complete letter from NHTSA to Tesla.

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