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US regulator asks Tesla to recall 158,000 cars due to safety issue

US agency National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked Tesla to recall about 158,000 of their cars.

The regulator asked the company to recall Model S and Model X cars between 2012 and 2018 over the possible failure of the display consoles. The large central screen on these vehicles, or the media control unit (MCU) could fail due to its memory storage unit reaching the whole capacity, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation found.

The failure of the display screen could result in the loss of the rearview camera and also impact the Autopilot advanced driver assistance system that the automaker’s cars come geared up with.

The memory storage units have a limited lifespan and the MCU fails after a certain number of on-off cycles, NHTSA said. While Tesla has provided some over-the-air updates to rectify the issue, the regulator found the measures to be insufficient.

“NHTSA notes that Tesla has implemented several over-the-air updates in an attempt to mitigate some of the issues described in this letter, but tentatively believes these updates are procedurally and substantively insufficient,” the notification read. “As a matter of Federal law, vehicle manufacturers are required to conduct recalls to remedy safety-related defects.”

The automaker confirmed to NHTSA that all the units would inevitably fail as the memory device has finite storage capacity. The automaker provided a statistical model that indicated that the number of projected weekly MCU repairs from 2020 to 2028, estimating that replacement rates for MCU failures will peak in early 2022.

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