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Tesla asked to recall 158,000 cars over crash risk

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
A Tesla logo seen on a parked car in Dublin city center.  On Tuesday, January 11, 2021, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Tesla asked to recall 158,00 cars over safety defects. Source: Getty

Tesla has been asked to recall around 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles made between 2012 and 2018, after the US regulator found there were issues with the cars’ touchscreens.

A formal letter to Tesla sent by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed the failing touchscreens resulted in loss of rearview camera and other safety-related vehicle functions, which could increase the risk of crashing.

“The tentatively-determined safety defect in the MY 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and MY 2016-2018 Model X is a clear, identified failure mode that leads to an unrecoverable status for the media control unit (MCU) and adversely affects vehicle safety functions,” the letter stated.

The regulator said memory devices used in the cars’ displays would fail when their storage capacity was reached, resulting in the touchscreen also not working.

This Traffic Safety Administration determined this was a safety-related defect because it resulted in the loss of the rearview camera as well as the loss of heating/cooling and defogging/defrosting controls.

“The failure also has an adverse impact on the Autopilot advanced driver assistance system (“ADAS”), as well as turn signal functionality due to the possible loss of audible chimes, driver sensing, and alerts associated with these vehicle functions,” it stated.

Tesla has been asked to notify all owners, purchasers and dealers of the vehicles, notifying them of the safety defect and providing a remedy.

If Tesla decides not to conduct the recall, it needs to provide the regulator with a full explanation of its decision.

Though it’s unclear whether the defects affect models sold in Australia, Tesla said all Aussie vehicles are protected by a 4-year warranty.

“If your Tesla is included in a recall, service to address the issue will be provided for free regardless of age or mileage,” the website states.

You can check if your car is affected by a recall here.

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