Tesla Ends Rearview Camera Investigation after 2021 Recall

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Following a prolonged investigation, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the closure of an inquiry into rear-view camera malfunctions affecting nearly 160,000 Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles. This decision comes in the wake of Tesla’s 2021 recall of almost 135,000 vehicles, which aimed to mitigate risks associated with media control unit failures. The NHTSA expressed confidence that this recall effectively addressed the identified safety concerns but pledged continued monitoring of its effectiveness.

The recall was prompted by pressure from the NHTSA, following a formal request in response to touchscreen failures posing significant safety risks. These failures included the loss of rear-view camera functionality, exterior lighting, and windshield systems crucial for driver visibility in adverse weather conditions. Moreover, the malfunction could impact advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like Autopilot and turn signal alerts, according to the agency.

While this investigation concludes, the NHTSA has initiated a separate probe into Tesla’s recall of 2 million vehicles in December, specifically focusing on enhancing Autopilot safeguards. This underscores ongoing scrutiny of Tesla’s safety measures by regulatory authorities. Initially triggered by complaints in June 2020, the investigation centered on media control unit (MCU) failures leading to touchscreen display malfunctions.

Although the NHTSA initially sought a recall of 158,000 vehicles, some models with upgraded processors built after March 2018 were excluded. Concerns were raised regarding the finite lifespan of the MCU, with the agency deeming a 5- or 6-year expectancy insufficient for a component integral to driver safety functions. Tesla acknowledged the limited lifespan of these units due to storage capacity limitations, stating that all units will eventually fail. The company reported significant progress in repairing the recalled vehicles, with approximately 104,000 of the 135,000 recalled vehicles addressed as of February.

In addition to addressing the rear-view camera issue, Tesla recently recalled 3,878 Cybertrucks to rectify concerns related to a loose accelerator pedal pad that could become lodged in the interior trim. This highlights Tesla’s commitment to promptly addressing safety issues across its vehicle lineup.

Source: Reuters


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