Tesla Recalls Half A Million Cars Over Safety Issues

Tesla is issuing a recall for more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address a couple of safety issues.

The US road safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that issues with the rearview camera and front trunk (frunk) increased the risk of crashing, Reuters reported.

The model years affected in the recall range from 2014 to 2021, and the total number of recalled vehicles is almost equivalent to the half a million vehicles Tesla actually delivered in 2020.

Tesla’s Model 3. Image credit: Tesla

Tesla recall

The NHTSA has been discussing another camera issue with the EV maker, while probing the company’s driver assistant system (Autopilot).

It seems that around 200,000 Tesla vehicles will be recalled in China, that country’s market regulator reportedly said on Friday.

Specifically, Tesla is recalling 356,309 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles to address rearview camera issues, and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to frunk problems, the federal regulator reportedly said.

It seems that for Model 3 sedans, “the rearview camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying,” the NHTSA was quoted as saying.

Tesla identified 2,301 warranty claims and 601 field reports regarding the issue for US vehicles.

For Model S vehicles meanwhile, latch problems may lead a frunk to open “without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash,” Tesla said.

Tesla said it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issues cited in the recall of Model 3 and Model S cars, the NHTSA said.

The NHTSA has been investigating 580,000 Tesla vehicles over the it’s decision to allow games to be played on car screens while they are in motion.

But Tesla subsequently agreed to remove such gaming features while its cars are moving.

Previous recalls

Tesla has undertaken recalls previously.

In November the NHTSA confirmed Tesla was recalling 11,704 vehicles in the US, which includes Model S, X, 3 and Y cars, over a software problem associated with its Full-Self Driving (FSD) system, which is still in beta.

In October the NHTSA had queried why Tesla failed to issue a recall to address software updates made to its Autopilot driver-assistance system (separate to FSB) , that were designed to improve the vehicles’ ability to detect emergency vehicles.

And in February 2021 the NHTSA finally got Elon Musk’s Tesla firm to recall nearly 135,000 Model S and Model X vehicles over safety issues.

That recall centred around faulty touchscreen displays, which on the surface may not sound like a safety issue at all. But in a Tesla, the touchscreen display controls nearly all of the vehicle’s functionality, from adjusting heating or cooling, through to folding the wing mirrors.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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