Tesla is calling 135,000 cars into service following pressure from the NHTSA agency

Just weeks after NHTSA, the US agency that regulates public roads, ordered Tesla to repair a serious defect in the touchscreen systems of Tesla cars, the company announces that it will comply. No less than 135,000 Tesla Model S and Model X cars sold in 2012-2018 will have to return to service to repair the central infotainment system that may become inoperable over time.

Older Tesla Model S and Model X cars will be repaired free of charge for an infotainment problem
The affected cars are those equipped with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chipset, which benefits from an 8GB memory chip in eMMC format. However, when this memory is full, the car’s central system becomes inoperable, and this can be dangerous while driving, as certain car functions are only accessible from it. Functions include rear camera, defrost and even signaling. They could become malfunctioning and endanger passengers and other road users.

The repair of the cars will start on March 30, and the operation will consist of replacing the problematic hardware components, completely free of charge. Those who have cars from newer generations, launched in 2018 or closer to this year, should not worry too much. It seems that the problem only appears after about 5-6 years from the date of manufacture, as it takes so long for the internal memory to be filled with logs created at each start.

Of course, the company’s representatives are not exactly excited about this situation. Although Tesla has agreed to repair the cars, the company has not acknowledged that this is a defect, arguing that it is economically and technologically unfeasible to expect the eMMC storage to last the entire life of the vehicle. Accepting the call for cars was a strategic move to stop the NHTSA investigation and improve the customer experience.

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