Customers look at a Model X electric car from Tesla Motors Inc. On display at the company’s showroom in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
Kelly Chen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Tesla in a Wednesday speech to recall 158,716 of its Model S and Model X cars manufactured before 2019, after owners complained about a touchscreen malfunction that resulted in the loss of several safety-related features.
The affected cars, made at the Fremont Automobile Plant in California, include Tesla Model S sedans built between 2012 and 2018, and Model X SUVs in the model years from 2016 to 2018.
Tesla can refuse to proceed with the summons, but will have to provide a full explanation of the reason in the NHTSA, which can then suggest further action. The recall of 158,716 cars would represent about 10% of Tesla’s reported production for life through the end of 2020. Million An electric car in March 2020, CEO Elon Musk tweeted at the time, and in the last three quarters of 2020 the company produced more than 400,000 additional cars.
News of the message has already been reported Reuters.
The memory devices on some Tesla MCUs have a limited “write cycle”, which means that they – and thus the media controller itself – will not perform well, or at all, after it reaches a certain number of programs or erase cycles.
Tesla owners affected He previously told CNBC That the display on their Media Controllers (or MCUs) may become blank at times, partially or completely. Touchscreen issues interfered with drivers’ ability to use heating, air conditioning, defrosting and defogging systems in their cars, or using rearview cameras and Tesla Autopilot features while parking and driving.
In the letter, which was sent to Tesla’s vice president of Al Prescott Legal, the Federal Vehicle Safety Authority wrote that MCU issues in Tesla could increase the risk of drivers crashing due to the “potential loss of acoustic bells, driver sensing, and alerts” that are part of Tesla Autopilot , The company’s advanced driver assistance system.
Media control unit failure rates are as high as 17% for older Tesla Model S cars (made from 2012 to 2015) and as high as 4% for Tesla-built cars from 2016 to 2018. The NHTSA said, citing Tesla’s forecast, that it is MCU failures are expected to increase as cars age and continue to be used.
“Looking at Tesla’s projects for MCU repairs, even MY [model year] NHTSA investigators have written that vehicles subject to 2018 will experience 100% MCU failure in about 10 years.
Tesla previously exhibited Extended Warranty To calm customers’ discomfort with the defect. As CNBC reported at the time, some owners who paid for replacing media controllers out of pocket will be able to recoup their costs under the extended warranty.
Read the Full letter from the NHTSA to Tesla.