Cars Tesla Model S Screen Recall

Published on January 14th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Tesla Requested To Recall 158,000 Cars In America By NHTSA

Ongoing screen failures with the Model S and Model X.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) in North America has just sent a letter to auto manufacturer Tesla to recall approximately 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles that may suffer from touch screen failures, according to a letter released Wednesday (see attached letter below). The letter states the following, 

NHTSA Recall letter to Tesla

‘Certain of these Model S and X vehicles were equipped with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with an integrated 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory device (the “subject vehicles”). Part of this 8GB storage capacity is used each time the vehicle is started. 

The eMMC NAND cell hardware fails when the storage capacity is reached, resulting in failure of the MCU. The MCU is the vehicle’s display screen, which controls certain aspects of performance subject to Federal motor vehicle safety standards (“FMVSS”)1 and other safety-relevant functions. Specifically, failure of the MCU results in loss of the rearview/backup camera2 and loss of HVAC (defogging and defrosting setting controls (if the HVAC status was OFF status prior to failure). 

The failure also has an adverse impact on the Autopilot advanced driver assistance system (“ADAS”), as well as turn signal functionality due to the possible loss of audible chimes, driver sensing, and alerts associated with these vehicle functions.’

BHP diesel

Failure of the Tesla “media control unit” of these vehicles could cut off access to the owner’s vehicle’s backup camera, climate control, and Tesla’s autopilot assistance system, increasing the risk of collision. The safety agency says.

NHTSA investigators wants Tesla to fix their worn-out flash memory chips used in the displays of the 2012-2018 Model S Sedan and the 2016-2018 Model S SUV. Each time the owner turns on any of these Tesla vehicles it runs out of total capacity on the 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory chip on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that powers the display. 

Tesla NVIDIA Chip

In the forth quarter of 2020, a large number of North American Tesla vehicle owners have started to experience car problems where the root cause was the computing hardware that is tightly integrated with the vehicle. The NHTSA noted 16,000 complaints on infotainment hardware replacement requests from Tesla car owners and it looked more like that might have been the first wave of complaints. 

Tesla To Recall 158,000 Cars In America

NHTSA began a formal investigation into the matter in June last year, saying the investigation is still underway, despite Tesla’s request to recall the vehicle on Wednesday this week. Tesla has not yet replied if they will comply with this request. The company did not immediately respond as their public relations department (PR) has been closed down since October 2020 and the PR staff have either left Tesla or have been reassigned to other departments within Tesla. 

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