May 28, 2024


The failure of a memory device in Tesla’s vehicles could affect rear-view cameras, HVAC systems, and driver assistance programs, according to U.S. regulators.

The failure of a memory device in Tesla’s vehicles could affect rear-view cameras, HVAC systems, and driver assistance programs, according to U.S. regulators.
Photo: Evgenia Novozhenina (Reuters)

U.S. auto safety regulators said Friday that a probe into Tesla’s 2021 recall of Model X and S vehicles over faulty rear-view cameras has been closed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tesla’s recall and subsequent remedy for the issue appears to address the risk presented by the failure of a device within the cameras. Regulators will continue to monitor the issue and the effectiveness of the recall.

A flash memory device — a necessary component of the cameras — have a lifespan of five or six years, according to the NHTSA. Once that time is up, the camera will be unable to properly operate. Tesla told the regulator that all units will inevitably fail due to the memory device’s finite capacity.

According to Tesla, the memory device supports its electric vehicles’ center display and a malfunction may result in the “loss of certain functionalities.” The NHTSA said the failure can result in malfunctions with Autopilot, Tesla’s driver assistance system, along with a loss of HVAC controls and turn signal functionality.

The recall affected model year 2012 to 2019 Tesla Model S and 2016 to 2019 Tesla Model X vehicles. In total, 158,716 vehicles were included in the recall, and 15,949 incidents were recorded.

Which Teslas are still facing safety probes?

This latest recall is the second inquiry into Tesla closed by the NHTSA over the last two weeks. The NHTSA last month ended its nearly three-year investigation into Autopilot, which included an analysis of 956 crashes. The regulator found that Autopilot was linked to more than 200 crashes and 29 deaths in the U.S.

The NHTSA last month also opened a new probe into Tesla’s recall of more than 2 million electric vehicles — which make up nearly all of Tesla’s vehicles on the road in the U.S. — in December. That recall — which was remedied by an over-the-air software update — affected the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y. Tesla has also recalled 3,878 Cybertruck electric pickups over faulty accelerators.



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