Tesla under investigation for Model S touchscreen failures


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into touchscreen failures on older Tesla Model S automobiles, after receiving 11 complaints within the final 13 months in regards to the situation.

The downside is with the 8GB eMMC NAND flash reminiscence chip within the NVIDIA Tegra three processor that Tesla used within the 2012 to 2015 variations of the Model S automobiles. That chip was liable to sporting out, as Motherboard first reported final October, which may trigger the “loss of audible and visual features provided by the touchscreen, such as infotainment, navigation, and web browsing,” in line with the NHTSA. The company additionally factors out that this chip failure would make it unattainable to make use of the backup digicam view.

The scope of the probe is what the NHTSA refers to as a “preliminary evaluation,” the place the investigators will attempt to decide how typically the issue occurred in addition to whether or not it induced any hurt to house owners. The company says it covers about 63,000 automobiles, although it acknowledges that the identical chip was used within the 2012 to 2018 variations of the Model S and the 2016 to 2018 variations of the Model X, accounting for round 159,000 automobiles. Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The company at the moment has two different such investigations open into Tesla. One, opened final October, is about an over-the-air software program replace Tesla issued that was meant to restrict a doable hearth threat within the battery packs of the corporate’s automobiles. The different, opened in January, is wanting into claims of Tesla’s automobiles present process “sudden unintended acceleration.”

Tesla pioneered the thought of inserting giant touchscreens in a automobile’s dashboard with the Model S, a design alternative that has proliferated throughout the automotive trade during the last decade. But this isn’t the one downside that Tesla has run into with its touchscreens, which, for years, had been sourced from laptop suppliers and didn’t stand as much as typical automotive grade standards. As Ed Niedermeyer writes in Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, the screens in older Model S automobiles had been liable to effervescent on the edges when uncovered to excessive warmth. Tesla’s clear up for this in manufacturing resulted in yellow banding after publicity to excessive warmth. It wasn’t till the corporate switched to a completely new touchscreen that the issues subsided.