Tesla bows to pressure from NHTSA, issues recall for Models S and X

Enlarge / 135,000 Teslas will brick their infotainment screens inside 3 or 4 years attributable to a design defect. NHTSA has persuaded the automaker to repair the issue by way of a voluntary recall.

Getty Images/Jonathan Gitlin

It’s official: Tesla has to recall virtually 135,000 Models S and X electrical autos attributable to a design defect that bricks the EVs’ infotainment screens inside 4 years of driving. The recall impacts Model S sedans constructed between 2012 and 2018 in addition to Model X SUVs constructed between 2016 and 2018, and homeowners needs to be notified by the automaker within the month of March.

The subject, which we first coated again in November 2020, has been well-known to the Tesla homeowners neighborhood for a while now. The downside is attributable to an 8GB eMMC NAND flash reminiscence chip, fitted to the Media Control Unit of the model’s Nvidia Tegra 3-powered infotainment methods. Logs are written to the flash reminiscence each time the automobile is in use, which quickly reaches its lifetime variety of write cycles; as soon as this restrict has been reached, the touchscreen dies, taking out the legally mandated backup digital camera and defrost/defogging controls, in addition to exterior flip sign lighting. (The downside doesn’t have an effect on more moderen Models S or X that use Intel’s Apollo Lake processor; these fashions additionally use a 64GB eMMC.)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started a preliminary investigation into the matter in June 2020, then upgraded that to an engineering evaluation in November 2020. In mid-January 2021, the regulator concluded that the lack of these capabilities rose to the extent of being security defects and requested Tesla to recall the autos. In late January, the automaker pushed again, “explaining its view that the eMMC wear condition neither constitutes a defect nor presents an unreasonable risk to safety.”

The NHTSA, nevertheless, disagreed, and on January 29, Tesla agreed to a voluntary recall, which can exchange a daughterboard within the Media Control Unit with a brand new one which makes use of the 64GB eMMC reminiscence.

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