Tesla Model S 75.
Source: Tesla Motors
Under pressure from US regulators, Tesla recalled 134,951 S and X vehicles with problems with the touchscreen display that resulted in the loss of several safety-related functions.
Affected cars manufactured at the Tesla Auto Plant in Fremont, California include Tesla Model S sedans manufactured between 2012 and 2018 and Model X SUVs manufactured in model years 2016 through 2018.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged Tesla on Jan. 13 to recall 158,716 of their electric vehicles after finding the malfunctions to be safety issues related to the center console screen.
“The wear and tear on the eMMC controller can result in the loss of the rear view camera display, defrost / defog control settings, and external turn signal lighting, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents,” the NHTSA said with reference to the problem.
Owners of affected Tesla vehicles previously informed CNBC that the display on their media control devices (or MCUs) was sometimes completely or partially blank. The touchscreen issues affected the driver’s ability to use heating, air conditioning, defrosting and defogging systems in their cars, or to use the reversing cameras and Tesla autopilot functions while parking and driving.
The difference between the NHTSA number and Tesla’s recall wasn’t immediately clear.
As part of the recall, Tesla will upgrade the eMMC controller part in the vehicle free of charge.
Lora Kolodny from CNBC contributed to this report.