03 Feb 2021: Tesla to recall 1.35 lakh cars over touchscreen issue
Tesla will recall 1,34,951 Model S and Model X cars with touchscreen displays that could fail and raise the risk of a crash.
The move comes in response to a formal request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency has claimed that the 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles pose a safety risk.
Here are more details.
Fact: Faulty touchscreen resulted in multiple safety issues
According to NHTSA, touchscreen failures resulted in significant safety issues, including the loss of exterior turn-signal lighting, rear-view or backup camera pictures, and windshield defogging as well as defrosting systems that "may decrease the driver's visibility in inclement weather."
Company's stance: 'Agreed to recall for ensuring best ownership experience for customers'
Responding to complaints about media control unit (MCU) failures leading to faulty touchscreens, NHTSA opened a probe in June 2020 and ordered Tesla to respond to its recall demand by January 27.
In its filing, Tesla said it agreed to a voluntary recall, "in the interest of bringing administrative closure to the investigation and to ensure best ownership experience for our customers."
Fact: Over 12,000 complaints related to faulty touchscreens reviewed
NHTSA said other carmakers were also issued recall orders because of similar safety issues stemming from the failure of the touchscreen. In November, the agency said it reviewed 12,523 claims and complaints pertaining to the issue.
Workaround: Tesla has suggested temporary solutions
Tesla has acknowledged the problem and suggested temporary solutions if the display stops working.
According to the automaker, "the driver can perform a shoulder check and use the mirrors. If the screen is not visible to control the climate control and defroster settings, the driver will be able to manually clear the windshield."
Timeline: Recall process to start from March 30
NHTSA has ordered a recall of 1,58,000 vehicles and the process will start from March 30. However, Tesla says it will not include some 15,000 cars with upgraded chipsets manufactured after March 2018.
As per the company, 88% owners in the US have received over-the-air (OTA) updates to certain functionalities which might be lost in case of a display failure.