Tesla Inc. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced the recall of 135,000 vehicles in the United States due to defective touch screens. Affected vehicles covered by the recent recall include certain 2012 to 2018 Model S sedans and 2016 to 2018 Model X crossovers equipped with a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with an integrated Hynix 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory device (the “eMMC”). According to the safety recall report, the eMMC flash memory device may wear over time due to normal usage resulting in failures of the center display software components. These failures may indirectly cause loss of the rear-view camera display, defrost/defog control settings, and exterior turn signal lighting. According to NHTSA, there are currently no known crashes, injuries, or fatalities resulting from this condition. However, the recall was issued due to a potential increased crash risk associated with these failures.
The recall comes after a months-long investigation which began in June 2020 and concluded in mid-January 2021. Following an investigation, NHTSA notified Tesla that the eMMC failure constitutes a defect related to motor vehicle safety. While Tesla disagrees with NHTA’s finding, the company initiated a voluntary recall. Under the terms of the recall, Tesla will replace the entire Visual Component Module on the affected vehicles as well as reimburse any owners of affected Tesla models who already had those repairs performed.