Tesla finally recalls 134,951 vehicles for defective touchscreens

The screens in older Teslas can fail, making the cars unsafe to drive.

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Inside of a Tesla self-driving car

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

After years of bickering with regulators, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has finally begun recalling over 100,000 vehicles with faulty touchscreen systems. 

Tesla has begun the process of notifying owners of Model S sedans made between 2012 and 2018, and Model X SUVs made between 2016 and 2018 — 134,951 vehicles in all — that it will replace the vehicles’ touchscreen systems with upgraded parts. 

The news was first reported by Electrek, which obtained a copy of the email Tesla sent to vehicle owners. 

Owners of older Teslas have reported issues with the touchscreens that control many of their vehicles’ functions. (Tesla calls the touchscreen systems “MCUs,” for “media control units.”) Over time, the screens can become slower to respond, sometimes freezing up while underway — and occasionally, failing entirely.

Tesla’s touchscreen systems incorporate key vehicle functions, including the backup cameras and climate-control systems like defrosters. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined last month that the MCU defect is a safety issue and asked Tesla to recall the affected vehicles.

The email from Tesla said that the problem is with an 8 gigabyte MultiMediaCard, or eMMC, built into the MCU that can malfunction over time. The company said that it will replace the affected vehicles’ MCUs with upgraded units that incorporate a 64 gigabyte eMMC. However, owners will have to wait until the upgraded parts are available, the company said. 

Tesla had not yet disclosed the estimated cost of the recall at press time. 

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

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John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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