Tesla is to recall some 130,000 cars from across its United States-based model line. The reason? The cars’ touch screens have a tendency to overheat and when they do, the screens go blank. Among the models to be recalled includes some of the 2021 and 2022 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, along with the 2022 Model 3 cars and Model Y SUVs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared documents on Tuesday explaining the problem that led to the recall. It seems that during the fast-charging process, central processing computers may fail to cool as much as they should. As a result, the computer may lag or even restart, which may make the center screen run slowly or even appear blank.
Increased Crash Risk
Should the car lose its center screen, there may be a loss of rearview camera displays, windshield defroster control settings, and the indicators that tell users when the cars are in neutral, reverse, or drive. Any and all of these possible mishaps increase the risk for an accident or car crash.
The good news is that Tesla is repairing these issues via online software updates to improve computer temperature management. The updates have already begun, as of May 3.
The issue of overheating was discovered by Tesla during routine endurance testing. Tesla says that no reports have been made regarding injuries or accidents. The company has, however, received a total of 59 related warranty claims from January to the first week of May.
Tesla Recall Redux
Tesla is no stranger to safety issues this year. The NHTSA has already opened several investigations as the national watchdog for car and road safety. The current recall is number 11 since January 27. Most of the issues that led to the recalls were able to be repaired with software updates.
This is also not the first time that Tesla touch screens threatened to go dark. Back at the beginning of 2021, the Austin, Texas-based company recalled some 135,000 cars for precisely this reason. At first, Tesla said it would not do a recall. The NHTSA found that the computer processors that operate the touch screens had only a finite number of program and erase cycles, and in addition, were not sufficiently long-lasting. Eventually, Tesla agreed to replace the computer processors.