Tesla vehicle recalls have skyrocketed in recent months. While most of these issues are software-related and can be fixed with an over-the-air update, it’s not particularly good for the automaker.
No car company is alien to testimonials, but the growing number of Tesla testimonials is getting people’s attention. Especially when the automaker has to use features from the Full Self Driving beta, which in itself is quite controversial due to the transfer of normally rigorous safety testing to the general public.
Here are all the latest Tesla reviews and everything you need to know.
September 23: Tesla recalls 1 million vehicles due to buggy windows.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (will open in a new tab) (NHTSA) said Tesla has recalled at least 1,096,762 vehicles due to a software bug that prevents windows from detecting obstacles. The agency said the problem “may increase the risk of passenger entrapment.”
The recall will affect all four Tesla models from different years. Model 3s 2017-2022, Model Ys 202-2021, and Model S and Model X 2021-2022 Tesla says it is not aware of injuries, crashes, or deaths related to the issue, but will be releasing an over-the-air update to all affected vehicles.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sincerely criticized (will open in a new tab) NHTSA’s use of the term “recall” for issues that are fixed with over-the-air software updates. “The terminology is outdated and incorrect.” Musk said: “This is a tiny over-the-air software update. As far as we know, no one was hurt.”
Here I tend to agree with him. As with many recent Tesla recalls, the vehicles themselves must not be returned to Tesla for physical repair or replacement. It’s not like Chevrolet’s recent recall of Chevy Bolt batteries, it’s a simple software update that most drivers won’t even notice.
Tesla says it will notify owners by letter from Nov. 15, but in the meantime, keep your Tesla’s windows clear of obstructions to avoid injury.
May 12: Tesla recalls 130,000 vehicles due to touchscreen malfunction.
Approximately 130,000 Tesla vehicles have been recalled in the US, according to NHTSA. According to the report, an overheating issue could cause the vehicle’s central touch screen to malfunction.
According to NHTSA report (will open in a new tab), overheating may prevent the rear view camera images, warning lights and other unspecified information from being displayed on the screen. Tesla has almost all of its main functions on the touchscreen, including the speedometer, so any problems with it should be taken very seriously.
The 2021 and 2022 Model S and Model X, as well as the 2022 Model 3 and Model Y, are subject to the recall. The problem should be resolved with an over the air update.
May 4: Tesla recalls one Model X due to missing hardware.
Believe it or not, recall doesn’t have to be widespread. Tesla just recalled one Model X due to a missing hardware issue. According to the NHTSA recall report, (will open in a new tab) this car lacked a bracket to reinforce the body structure on the second row seats. Without it, any collision would increase the risk of injury to rear seat passengers.
According to Tesla, this model was a pre-production trial unit built to older design specifications. The specs were then updated and the affected vehicles were scheduled to have the bracket installed before leaving the factory. The oversight meant that the now recalled car actually drove off and was delivered to the buyer on March 31st. Upon discovery, Tesla contacted the buyer and replaced the vehicle at no additional cost.
February 10: Tesla withdraws boombox feature on 579,000 vehicles.
Vehicles affected: 579,000
Models Affected: Model S, X, Y (2020-2022), 3 (2017-2022)
Tesla is forced to recall the Boombox feature on nearly 579,000 vehicles because it has the ability to obscure audible pedestrian safety warnings.
Boombox was launched in 2020 and allowed Tesla owners to play a lot of sounds outside the car, including “fun” things like bleating goats and fart sounds. But according to the NHTSA, it violates US federal electric vehicle safety standards, especially those that require warning sounds for pedestrians. Because electric cars are much quieter due to the fact that they don’t have a noisy internal combustion engine.
The recall does not disable the Boombox permanently. Instead, the upcoming update will prevent drivers from using this feature when the vehicle is in Drive, Reverse, or Neutral. Musk blamed the incident on the “jolly police”, allegedly because of how fun it is to play fart sounds from your car while driving.
(Image credit: Tesla)
February 9th: Windshield defrost problem.
Affected vehicles: 26,681
Models Affected: Model S, X, 3 (2021-2022), Y (2020-2022)
A software bug in some Tesla vehicles has caused windshield defrost problems, resulting in the vehicle being recalled by the NHTSA. According to Tesla, the error could cause a valve in a car’s heat pump to open at the wrong time, trapping refrigerant in the evaporator.
The problem should be fixed with an over the air update.
February 4: Faulty seat belt horn.
Affected vehicles: 817,143
Models Affected: Model S, X, 3 and Y (2021-2022)
Seat belt sound is a feature you’ll find in every new car on the road. In fact, it is a federal requirement for a car to make an annoying chime if the driver’s seat belt is not fastened while the car is in motion.
Unfortunately, 2021 and 2022 Tesla Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles had a bug in this system, resulting in a software recall for approximately 817,143 vehicles.
The problem appears to have occurred if the driver got out of the vehicle while the horn was sounding and then got back into the car. The seatbelt visual warning was unaffected, and Tesla said the issue would not occur if the vehicle’s speed exceeded 13.7 mph. The software update has already begun, according to NHTSA. (will open in a new tab).
Feb 3: More phantom braking issues
Vehicles affected: 416,000
Affected models: Model 3, Y (221-2022)
After Tesla owners were forced to withdraw a full self-driving software update in October, it looks like Tesla owners are still having “phantom braking” issues. In other words, Tesla is slowing down for no apparent reason.
Washington Post (will open in a new tab) reports that the NHTSA has had 107 complaints in the last three months. There were only 34 complaints in the previous 22 months.
Some owners have complained that Teslas are too sensitive to trucks in the oncoming lane, while others claim their Teslas are being slowed down despite there being no other vehicles on the road. Obviously, this poses a serious danger to Tesla drivers and other vehicles on the road.
The NHTSA has not verified the reports, but a spokesman said the agency is “in dialogue” with Tesla about the incidents.
(Image credit: Tesla)
February 1: Tesla recalls FSD’s “Assertive Mode” feature. Again
Affected vehicles: 53,822
Affected models: Model S, X, 3, Y (firmware 2020.40.1.10)
The Tesla Full Self Driving beta just had to withdraw another update. Assertive mode was originally launched back in December, but was withdrawn two days later. (will open in a new tab) after drivers had trouble turning left at a traffic light and stopping unexpectedly.
The pushy mode returned in January, with Tesla promising that cars “will have shorter following distances, perform more frequent lane changes, stay out of passing lanes, and can make stops on the go.”
A rolling stop is when a driver treats a stop sign at an intersection as a yield sign, slowing rather than coming to a complete stop. According to ABC News (will open in a new tab) the FSD software allowed the car to pass stop signs at speeds up to 5.6 mph. The problem is that mobile stops are banned in many US states, causing regulatory intervention.
Representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) met with Tesla, who reportedly agreed to the recall. (will open in a new tab). While the automaker says it doesn’t know if the feature has caused any injuries or crashes, the NHTSA says that not stopping could increase the risk of a crash.
Thus, the OTA update was released to 54,000 affected Teslas, withdrawing the update and ending pushy mode for the second time.
December 30: Tesla recalls most Model 3 and Model S vehicles.
Vehicles affected: 475,000
Models affected: Model 3 (2017-2020), Model S (2014 and newer).
Tesla has announced a massive recall of 475,000 Model 3 and Model S vehicles. This includes Model 3 units produced between 2017 and 2020 and Model S units produced since 2014.
For the Model 3, the problem comes down to the rear view camera wiring harness, which can be damaged when opening and closing the rear trunk. This can leave drivers without access to footage from the rear view camera.
On an S model, a faulty front trunk latch can cause the trunk to suddenly open, which can be especially dangerous while driving.
Affected vehicles: 11,704
Affected Models: Model S, X, 3, Y
Tesla had to roll back an update to its full beta due to a communication failure between the two chips. This problem led to problems known as “phantom braking”, where the autopilot would suddenly apply the brakes for seemingly no reason.
Tesla has recalled almost 12,000 vehicles, according to the AP. (will open in a new tab), after the NHTSA asked Tesla about why she hadn’t done it yet. The NHTSA launched an investigation into Autopilot back in August, and Elektrek (will open in a new tab) notes that in recent weeks the number of complaints related to phantom braking has increased significantly.
(Image credit: Telsa)
October 29: Suspension failure in Model 3 and Model Y.
Affected vehicles: 2791
Models Affected: Model 3 (2019-2021), Model Y (2021)
Tesla issued a recall (will open in a new tab) nearly 3,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles due to concerns that the front wishbone mounts could come loose. This can affect wheel alignment and increase the risk of an accident.
The recall applies to 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020 and 2021 Model Y vehicles. Affected owners will presumably be notified by mail by December 24th and the fix will be free.