Federal regulators require Tesla to recall approximately 158,000 vehicles for safety reasons, which is equivalent to one of the largest safety actions of the electric car manufacturer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) requested Tesla to recall some Model S luxury sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles in a letter dated January 13. NHTSA requested a recall because the car’s touch screen may fail after several years of use, affecting safety functions such as defogging and reversing cameras.
Some car safety recalls involve millions of cars. Although considered modest by historical figures, for Tesla, the move represents a relatively large recall rate. Tesla has far fewer cars on the road than some competitors. According to data from market research firm Motor Intelligence, the Silicon Valley automaker delivered nearly 500,000 vehicles globally last year, of which approximately 205,600 were in the United States. Tesla does not divide its sales by region.
Tesla does not have to recall the vehicle, although NHTSA said in the letter that if the automaker does not take action, it must provide an explanation for its decision. The agency can then escalate the incident to a public hearing and eventually seek a mandatory recall through the court.
Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights, said the recall request is significant and may require US$300 million to US$500 million to resolve.