Tesla is set to recall roughly 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. to patch out a software error that could limit driver visibility.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a glitch in some Tesla vehicles can prevent the rearview camera image from displaying, limiting the driver’s view when backing up and increasing the risk of a crash. The issue is suspected to impact up to 199,575 Model X, Model S, and Model Y units built in 2023. Owners affected by the recall will receive notification letters after March 22. However, Tesla has already released a software update to fix the error, according to the NHTSA’s filing. The regulator has mandated rearview cameras in all vehicles since 2014.
Tesla says it is aware of 81 warranty claims possibly connected to the glitch. In late 2023, a Reuters investigative report alleged that the electric vehicle manufacturer had knowingly charged owners thousands of dollars for repairs that should have been covered by warranty. The media platform claimed that suspension components in older models had displayed abnormally high failure rates, an issue it said was common knowledge among Tesla technicians.
However, in several instances cited by Reuters, the automaker blamed drivers for the issue, saying the damaged parts displayed signs of prior damage. The company repeated this claim to the NTHSA when it launched a probe into the issue several years ago. Federal safety regulators recently mandated that the EV brand update its Autopilot software following a multi-year investigation into reports of Tesla models crashing into emergency vehicles while being controlled by driver-assistance technology. That problem was also fixed via an over-the-air patch.
The relationship between Tesla and the NHTSA has been tenuous at best and, at worst, combative. In the past, company CEO Elon Musk has criticized the NHTSA for its use of the word “recall” to describe situations where a manufacturer updates a vehicle’s software remotely, as opposed to conducting repairs in a dealership. On the other hand, a single tweet from the tech entrepreneur has resulted in immediate intervention from the federal agency.