Tesla requested the recall of 158,000 vehicles over US safety concerns

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday asked Tesla to recall 1.58,000 S and X vehicles due to media control unit (MCU) failures that could pose safety risks as touchscreen displays fail.

The Auto Safety Agency made the unusual request in a formal letter to Tesla after upgrading a security probe in November, saying it had tentatively determined that the Model S 2012-2018 and the Model X 2016-2018 “one.” Defect related to the safety of motor vehicles included “. “”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has to respond to NHTSA by Jan. 27. If it does not agree, it must provide the agency with “a full statement of its decision”.

It is unusual for the agency to officially request a recall. Automakers usually voluntarily agree to a recall if requested in discussions with the regulatory authorities.

The agency said it requested the recall after “considering Tesla’s presentation at the technical briefing … and evaluating Tesla’s claims”.

NHTSA added, “During our review of the data, Tesla confirmed that all units will inevitably fail due to the limited storage capacity of the storage device.”

According to the NHTSA, other automakers have issued numerous recalls for similar safety issues, the agency said Tesla, including a detailed list of previous recalls.

The agency said touchscreen failures pose significant security concerns, including loss of rear / rear camera images. Nine previous recalls from other automakers have been identified for similar issues.

For those Tesla vehicles that lose use of the touchscreen, there are times when the driver’s autopilot system and turn signal functionality may be compromised as audible signals, driver identifications and warnings related to these vehicle functions may be lost, according to NHTSA. Loss of warnings tied to systems like autopilot “increases the risk of a crash because drivers may be unaware of system malfunctions.”

Touchscreen errors mean that drivers are unable to use windshield defog and defrost systems, which “can impair the driver’s view in bad weather and increase the risk of accidents”.

NHTSA noted that “Tesla implemented several wireless updates to address some of the problems … but for the time being believes these updates are procedurally and substantively inadequate.” It was pointed out that “vehicle manufacturers are legally obliged to carry out recalls in order to rectify safety-related defects”.

NHTSA announced in November that it had examined 12,523 claims and complaints about the issue, affecting around 8 percent of the vehicles examined.

Many complaints stated that Tesla will require owners to pay to replace the device once the warranty has expired.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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