The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Tesla to recall about 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles that could suffer from failure of supply control units, according to A message published by the agency on Wednesday. The safety agency says failure of so-called “media controllers” in these vehicles could cut off an owner’s access to the car’s backup camera, climate controls, and Tesla’s automated driver assistance system, increasing the risk of an accident.
The problem at the heart of the flaw that the NHTSA wants Tesla to fix includes outdated flash memory chips used in the 2012-2018 Model S sedan displays and 2016-2018 Model X SUVs. Every time an owner powers one of these devices, it erodes the total capacity of the 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory present on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that powers the displays. When that capacity is reached – usually after about five to six years, the agency says – displays become dilapidated. Motherboard I mentioned it first On this issue in 2019.
Tesla assured NHTSA that all units containing this chip “will inevitably fail,” according to the agency, and also provided a statistical model showing expected weekly fixes that will last from 2020 to 2028, with most failures occurring in 2022.
NHTSA An official investigation was opened into the problem last JuneOn Wednesday, he said the investigation was still ongoing despite Tesla’s request to recall the vehicles. It is not clear if Tesla will comply. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the letter, the NHTSA acknowledges that Tesla has released software updates over the air aimed at mitigating crashes, but the agency believes those updates don’t go far enough – especially because the issue cuts off access to the backup camera, which is now a federally mandatory feature. “[T]These updates are insufficient procedurally and objectively, “the agency wrote.
While Tesla promoted the use of large touchscreens in cars, it had more than one problem with these earlier models. Besides the flash memory problem at the heart of the NHTSA recall request, Tesla’s early screens have also suffered from bubbles and yellow bars since then. They were not up to the standards of a typical car.