Amid pressure from US safety regulators, Tesla Inc. agreed to recall 134,951 Model S and Model X vehicles due to faulty touchscreen displays that pose a potential safety hazard.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that older Tesla vehicles made prior to March 2018, may be at risk of a crash due to touchscreen failures.
U.S. auto safety regulators say that Tesla agreed to recall its 2012 to 2018 Model S sedans and 2016 to 2018 Model X SUVs. A probe begun last June delved into complaints from owners that media control units were failing and touchscreens stopped working. By November, some 12,523 complaints and claims were made regarding the issue. A similar issue has plagued other automakers.
Late last year, Tesla confirmed that these units eventually all fail due to finite storage capacity in these devices.
The NHTSA published a letter to Tesla in mid-January requesting the electric-vehicle automaker to voluntarily issue a recall due to the problems.
Typically, most automakers will agree to voluntary fix their vehicles before the NHTSA reaches out to them to request a recall. Tesla responded to the demand on Jan. 27th and agreed to the recall.
At issue, Tesla vehicles feature touchscreen devices that pose a significant safety issue. This includes the potential loss of rearview or backup camera images, exterior turn-signal lighting, and windshield defogging and defrosting systems.
The voluntary recall was agreed to “in the interest of bringing administrative closure to the investigation and to ensure the best ownership experience for our customers,” Tesla said in its filing.
Owners Paid for Repairs
Prior to the investigation into the touchscreen failures, many Tesla owners had paid to replace their units due to expired warranties. Now Tesla plans to reimburse those customers and replace defective parts in other vehicles that were not repaired.
Also, federal officials noted that Tesla downplayed the safety issue by suggesting that drivers check over their shoulder or use mirrors before changing lanes if their displays are no longer working. However, climate control and defroster issues could be an issue if the windshield fogs up while driving.
Tesla Recall Begins on March 30, 2021
The recall does not include certain vehicles that are equipped with upgraded processors that were build after March 2018.
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Motorists who are grappling with ongoing problems with their Tesla or other vehicle, could be eligible for compensation under California and or Federal Lemon Laws.
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