After facing significant scrutiny over numerous production faults, including roofs flying off, cars spontaneously combusting in driveways, and Gigafactory quality control nightmares, it appears that Tesla has finally admitted to at least one of the problems currently plaguing its electric vehicles. According to Reuters, Tesla has agreed to issue a recall on 134,951 Model X and Model S vehicles after a horde of customers complained of touchscreen display failures.
The reluctant move comes after US vehicle safety regulators pushed for the recall since the beginning of the year. According to GLJ Research analyst Gordon Johnson, the latest recall could put Tesla as far back as $213 million in the first quarter of 2021. Johnson also points out the $1,500 fee that customers had to pay out-of-pocket to get their displays repaired prior to the recall that will also have a significant impact on the outcome of the situation. In addition, the latest recall in the US could spiral into further recalls, specifically in China.
Back in January, the NHTSA prompted Tesla to recall approximately 158,000 Model X cars that could potentially have faulty display consoles. When this occurs, drivers can lose “audible and visual touchscreen features, such as infotainment, navigation, and web browsing and loss of rear camera image display when in reverse gear.” The NHTSA classified the issues as a safety problem, which was the result of “worn-out flash memory chips used in the displays of 2012-2018 Model S sedans and 2016-2018 Model X SUVs.”
According to the NHTSA, the resulting display console malfunctioning can reduce the operability of the vehicle’s autopilot and the rearview/backup camera, and cause the loss of the defogging and defrosting setting controls, which can adversely impact the driver’s visibility in poor weather conditions. The regulatory agency also clarified that over-the-air fixes of the issue are not sufficient, and in the event that Tesla does not move forward with a recall, the electric vehicle manufacturer must provide a full explanation of its decision.
Although back in January Tesla resisted issuing a recall, it appears that the car company has finally caved under the added pressure. Conceivably, in related news, Tesla’s CEO recently tweeted that he is going to be “off Twitter for awhile.”
Information for this briefing was found via Reuters. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.