Tesla recalls US vehicles over failing touchscreens

Tesla recalls US vehicles over failing touchscreens

Tesla Model S 2017

Getty Images

Tesla is to recall large numbers of Model S and Model X cars in the US over failing touchscreens regulators warned could increase the risk of crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent Tesla a letter requesting the recall in January.

Tesla did not respond at the time.

But drivers of affected cars, Model S sedans built between 2012 and 2018 and Model X SUVs from 2016 to 2018, have now started receiving emails about what to do next.

The problem involved the memory chip in the media control unit (MCU), which could affect a range of safety issues including:

  • the loss of rear-view camera images and controls for heating, air conditioning and defrosting
  • the potential loss of audible chimes and alerts associated with indicators and the drive-assistance Autopilot feature

At the time, Tesla acknowledged the issue but said if the display was not working, “the driver can perform a shoulder check and use the mirrors”.

“If the screen is not visible to control the climate control and defroster settings, the driver will be able to manually clear the windshield,” it added.

Already paid

The NHTSA began investigating the issue in June.

And in November, it said it had it reviewed 12,523 claims and complaints about the issue.

Many said Tesla had asked owners to pay to replace the MCU once the warranty had expired.

But the recall email from Tesla now being sent to customers offers to reimburse those who have already paid for repair.

The company indicated that affected customers in other countries will also receive an email later this week but it is unclear whether any cars outside the US will be included in the recall.

Vehicle alert

Tesla has “voluntarily” decided to recall the affected models, it says.

“There is no need at this time to contact us as we will notify you when the parts become available,” the email says.

“We kindly ask that you do not schedule a service appointment unless you receive a vehicle alert signalling memory-storage-device degradation or are actively experiencing a persistent blank centre display that does not recover after restarting the touchscreen.”

The recall will begin at the end of March.

The NHTSA had requested a recall of 158,000 cars.

But Tesla says those with an upgraded processor do not need to be included.

Published at Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:54:04 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos


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