Nearly 500,000 Tesla Models Have Serious Defects

Recall / Comments

The feds are now involved.

Tesla typically prefers to handle technical problems internally regarding its vehicles instead of issuing an official recall in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But sometimes, there's no choice but to work with the federal safety agency for a specific issue. Today is one of those issues.

The EV carmaker has issued a recall for 475,000 examples of the Model 3 and Model S due to a rearview camera and trunk problem that increases the risk of a crash. A total of 356,309 examples of the Model 3, built from 2017 to 2020, are equipped with a "rearview camera whose cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying."

2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Driving Front Angle Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Driving Back View Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Dashboard Tesla

A total of 119,000 Model S sedans are also being recalled due to a front hood latch problem. If left unresolved, the so-called "frunk" could open "without warning and obstruct the driver's visibility, increasing the risk of a crash." Tesla says it's unaware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to either vehicle defect.

Presumably, owners will be notified by the automaker with specific instructions on what to do next. Since both issues are hardware-related, owners will have to visit a Tesla service center for the necessary repairs that will be done free of charge.

2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Side View Driving Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Charging Point Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Door Handle Tesla
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Tesla's relationship with the NHTSA (and the SEC and Justice Department) has been a rocky one. The feds are currently investigating the company over separate matters, including the Autopilot driver-assist system and the more advanced version dubbed Full Self-Driving.

Most recently, the NHTSA managed to get Tesla to fix a software issue that allowed drivers to play video games on the main touchscreen while the vehicle was in motion. Mercedes-Benz had the same problem but it immediately moved to fix it. Tesla's response was slower and the feds probably weren't too happy about that.

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