Feds request Tesla to recall 158,000 cars over display failure concerns

Feds request Tesla to recall 158,000 cars over display failure concerns

The
feds
have
asked
Tesla
to
recall
about
158,000
cars
over
concerns
that
their
touch-screen
displays
could
fail
after
a
few
years.

The
screens
pose
a
safety
risk
because
they
allow
drivers
to
control
several
key
features
in
Tesla’s
Model
S
sedans
and
Model
X
SUVs,
including
the
backup
cameras
and
air-conditioning
systems
that
de-fog
the
windows,
according
to
the
National
Highway
Traffic
Safety
Administration.

Drivers
can
lose
control
of
those
functions
if
the
displays
fail,
increasing
the
risk
of
a
crash,
regulators
told
the
electric-car
maker
in
a

Wednesday
letter
.

NHTSA
asked
Tesla
to
either
recall
the
risky
vehicles
and
notify
their
owners
about
the
problem
or
explain
why
a
recall
isn’t
needed.
The
affected
cars
include
Model
S’s
from
the
2012
through
2018
model
years
and
Model
X’s
from
2016
through
2018,
officials
said.

At
the
root
of
the
problem
is
the
processor
Tesla
uses
in
the
displays,
NHTSA
says.
Each
one
has
an
Nvidia-made
memory
chip
with
eight
gigabytes
of
capacity,
part
of
which
is
used
up
every
time
the
car
is
turned
on,
according
to
the
letter.

Eventually
the
chip
hits
full
capacity

which
can
happen
after
five
to
six
years

and
the
screen
becomes
a
useless
black
rectangle,
NHTSA
says.

“During
our
review
of
the
data,
Tesla
provided
confirmation
that
all
units
will
inevitably
fail
given
the
memory
device’s
finite
storage
capacity,”
Stephen
Ridella,
director
of
NHTSA’s
Office
of
Defects
Investigation,
said
in
the
letter.

NHTSA,
which
started
investigating
the
problem
in
June,
said
Tesla
has
tried
to
address
the
issue
with
“over-the-air”
software
updates,
but
those
are
“procedurally
and
substantively
insufficient,”
the
agency
said.

It’s
uncertain
whether
Tesla
will
issue
a
recall
for
the
affected
cars.
The
company

led
by

billionaire
chief
executive
Elon
Musk


did
not
immediately
respond
to
a
request
for
comment
early
Thursday.

NHTSA’s
letter
came
less
than
two
months
after
Tesla

recalled
more
than
9,500
vehicles

in
the
US
over
concerns
about
parts
of
their
roofs
flying
off
and
loose
bolts
messing
with
the
driver’s
ability
to
steer.

In
October,
the
company
recalled
about
30,000
vehicles
in
China
over
potential
suspension
problems,
which
Tesla
reportedly
claimed
were
caused
by
“driver
abuse”
rather
than
any
defect.

Tesla
shares
were
down
about
1.3
percent
in
premarket
trading
Thursday
at
$843
as
of
7:11
a.m.

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