Tesla Will Recall Significant Number Of Cars In China Over Touch-Screen Failures

A new regulatory filing from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation shows that the United States based electric car maker Tesla has extended a significant recall of its vehicles in its home market to China.

The company which was founded by billionaire Elon Musk will be recalling as many as 36,126 Model S and Model X vehicles in China for failures in the car’s touch screen, shows the filing. The cars that are being recalled were made by the company between 2013 and 2018 in the United States and were exported to China.

A media control unit, or MCU is an essential feature of Tesla electric vehicles which powers a touch screen where drivers are able to view and control their entertainment as well as navigation, air conditioning, defrost and other features of the vehicles.

Quite a few processors, memory devices and other technical components can be found inside the MCU. However a limited “write cycle” has been attributed to the memory devices in some Tesla MCUs which essentially means that their functioning will be faulty or may fail at all after they complete 3,000 program-erase cycles.

Unnerving touch-screen blackouts while driving may be experienced by drivers when the memory devices fail which can lead to losing access to car controls that the drivers need to feel safe while on the road or while parking the cars. While it is possible for some drivers to reboot their systems, others might end up completely loosing access to the display and controls of the touch screen.

In order to refund money to those customers who had paid outside of a warranty and out of their own pockets for replacement of their media control units, or for replacing the eMMC memory devices inside of them, a “warranty expansion” in the US was first initiated by Tesla. However some time later, a voluntary recall of the cars were made by the company in the US following pressure from the country’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tesla vehicles are being investigated by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, over the same failure issues of its touch-screen.  

48,442 Model S and X vehicles were recalled by Tesla last fall in China because of issues with the suspension in the cars while complaints of potentially defective roofs resulted in the recalling of about 870 vehicles.

About 135,000 Tesla vehicles have been affected by the company’s recall in the US over the touch-screen issue. Tesla will be replacing the 8GB eMMC memory devices in the media control units with a 64 GB versionin the recalled cars in both the US and China.  

No comments on the issue were available from Tesla.

For Tesla as well as other electric car makers, the Chinese market is a lucrative one. In January last year, the American electric car maker had started production at its relatively newly built factory in Shanghai which is its first such manufacturing facility outside of the US.

As of last year, Tesla enjoyed about 12 per cent market share of the “new energy vehicle” category in China, according to JL Warren Capital. According to analysts, Tesla cars were incredibly popular which was impressive because consumers in China are known to be more price conscious compared to those in the US.

(Adapted from TechnologyTimes.com)


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