Tesla recalls cars for overheating issue—of screens, not battery packs


Tesla is recalling 2021-2022 Model S and Model X vehicles, and 2022 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, over a charging issue that can cause infotainment screens to overheat.

The recall of 129,960 vehicles addresses a problem with the infotainment screen central processing unit (CPU), which may not cool down sufficiently during fast charging, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall report.

This is kind of unusual, as the main concern with fast charging is typically battery-pack temperatures. But this time, it’s the screen that could potentially overheat.

2022 Tesla Model 3

Overheating could cause the screen to lag or restart. Since the rearview camera feed is displayed through the screen, this is considered a safety-critical issue. It’s already been seen in 59 warranty claims and field reports, according to the NHTSA paperwork.

Tesla does at least plan to address this issue, as it often does, with an over-the-air (OTA) software update. A firmware update to improve management of CPU temperatures was expected to be ready by May 4.

This isn’t the first Tesla screen issue. It took pressure from regulators before Tesla issued a recall of 135,000 Model X and Model S vehicles over failing touchscreens.

2022 Tesla lineup  (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla has otherwise been able to handle a number of issues it needs to submit recall paperwork for, completely over the air and without a visit to a service center. But instead of fixing defects, some recent examples, including cars programmed to roll through stop signs and a “Boombox” feature that interfered with pedestrian alert sounds, involved addressing features that were not compliant with federal regulations.

And Tesla isn’t able to handle all recalls with OTA updates. Anything involving hardware still requires some manner of in-person inspection.



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