United States: Tesla recalls nearly 135,000 cars over safety issue

The automaker Tesla will recall nearly 135,000 cars in the United States, for a safety problem related to the on-board computer. This recall follows an alert launched in mid-January by the US road safety agency, NHTSA, according to a letter sent to the company and published Tuesday, February 2. This concerns Model S sedans manufactured between 2012 and 2018, as well as Model X city SUVs produced from 2016 to 2018, whose on-board computer is equipped with an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

It is one of the most important safety recalls launched by the electric car maker. The number of vehicles concerned is however lower than the 158,000 requested by the regulator in mid-January. The NHTSA letter does not explain this difference. Tesla was not obliged to comply with the request of the federal agency but had an obligation in this case to provide it with an explanation so that it decides. To put it mildly, 158,000 cars represent nearly a third of the vehicles delivered by the manufacturer in 2020.

Tesla will need to replace a part of the on-board computer of the recalled vehicles. This defect “may result in the loss of the rear view camera display, defrost / demisting control settings and turn signal, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of an accident”, details the NHTSA in its letter.

The memory of on-board computers, in particular the infotainment system (MCU), has a limited life cycle. This means that this system may not work properly after a certain number of programs. “During an MCU failure, the screen goes black and the rear view camera, also a backup camera, is no longer available to the driver, the regulator explained in its report published in January. If the image is no longer available, the risk of an accident increases, which can potentially lead to injury or death. “ This issue can also affect Autopilot, the driver assistance system found in Tesla cars.

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