According to a letter issued by the agency on Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Tesla to recall approximately 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles that may damage the display console. The safety agency said the so-called “media control unit” failure in these vehicles could cut off the owner’s authority to use his vehicle’s backup camera, climate control and Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system, thereby increasing the risk of a car accident.
The core issue of the defect that NHTSA hopes Tesla will fix involves worn flash memory chips used in the displays of the 201
Tesla confirmed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that all units equipped with the chip “will inevitably fail”, and provided a statistical model showing that it is estimated that every time from 2020 to 2028 Weekly maintenance volume, of which the biggest failure occurs in 2022.
NHTSA conducted a formal investigation into the issue in June last year and said on Wednesday that although Tesla requested the recall of the vehicle, the investigation was still ongoing. It is not clear whether Tesla will comply. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In this letter, NHTSA acknowledged that Tesla has released wireless software updates aimed at mitigating malfunctions, but the agency believes that these updates are not enough, especially because the problem reduces access to backup cameras, which is now Federally authorized functions. “[T]These updates are procedurally and substantively insufficient,” the agency wrote.
When Tesla widely used large touch screen displays in cars, these early models had multiple problems. In addition to flash memory issues that are at the core of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall requirements, early Tesla displays suffered from blistering and yellow streaks because they did not meet typical automotive standards.