Tesla is recalling greater than 130,000 automobiles underneath stress from regulators

Tesla Model S 75.

Source: Tesla Motors

Under pressure from US regulators, Tesla is recalling 134,951 S and X vehicles, as touchscreen errors are common, which can lead to the loss of several safety-related functions while driving.

Cars that are part of the voluntary recall were made at Tesla’s Fremont, California facility. These include Model S sedans manufactured between 2012 and 2018 and Model X SUVs manufactured between 2016 and 2018.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Tesla on Jan. 13 to recall 158,716 of its Model S and X electric vehicles after it concluded that media controller failures were increasing in aging Tesla vehicles, posing significant safety issues.

“The affected vehicles in the fault information report do not contain vehicles that have already been repaired with a) a service part with 64 GB eMMC or b) an updated touchscreen,” said an NHTSA representative in an email to CNBC on Tuesday when asked about the Discrepancy between the recall number and Tesla’s.

“The wear and tear on the eMMC controller can result in the loss of the rear-view camera display, defrost / defog control settings, and turn signal lighting outdoors, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents,” said NHTSA.

In a message received from CNBC to owners of the affected vehicles early Tuesday morning, Tesla wrote:

“Tesla has decided to voluntarily recall certain Model S and X vehicles built prior to March 2018 that voluntarily feature an 8GB built-in MultiMediaCard (eMMC) in the media control unit as the eMMC may malfunction due to accumulated wear and tear … If a malfunction occurs. After restarting the touchscreen, losing certain functions and / or receiving a vehicle warning to contact service, you may experience a persistent blank center display that cannot be restored. “

In a letter to NHTSA released Tuesday, Tesla Vice President Al Prescott denied that the company’s vehicles were defective.

“Tesla recognizes that even if a component is not designed to last the life of the vehicle, if it wears out prematurely, it can fail, but that is not the case here,” Prescott said.

“NHTSA’s anachronistic regulations are not appropriate for situations where there is no safety deficiency. Nevertheless, the manufacturer can improve vehicle performance, including safety performance, immediately without the need for inconvenient physical repair.”

According to its website, NHTSA has not yet completed its investigation into Tesla’s vehicles, despite Tesla’s consent to a voluntary recall.

Owners of affected cars previously told CNBC that the display on their media control devices was sometimes completely or partially blank. The touchscreen issues affected the driver’s ability to use heating, air conditioning, defrosting and defogging systems, or using their rear-view cameras and Tesla autopilot functions when parking and driving, and left some too anxious to use their vehicles at all .

Many customers previously paid out of their own pocket to replace their media control devices entirely, or paid to replace the eMMC that came with them. Some of them will be able to receive refunds, Tesla repeated on Tuesday.

The company also promised the owners more information about repairs related to recalls Meanwhile, Tesla has been asked not to book service for this hardware update unless they are actively having issues with their touchscreens that cannot be fixed by updating their firmware or restarting their systems.

Unlike many updates from Tesla, this hardware update cannot be performed remotely.

Here is the full email Tesla sent to the recalled owners.

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