Elon Musk described NHTSA’s terminology for over-the-air software updates being used as “outdated and inaccurate” recalls, after the agency issued a recall of more than 1 million Tesla EVs due to a window system failure.
This morning, NHTSA released a safety recall report for Tesla vehicles, including the 2021-2022 Tesla Model S, 2021-2022 Tesla Model X, 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3, and 2020-2021 Tesla Model Y. The issue is related to the Tesla window auto reversing system. NHTSA said, “Affected vehicles may not meet certain requirements for the automatic window reversing system In FMVSS 118, Section 5 (Automatic Reversal Systems). when closing In circumstances subject to FMVSS Section 118, Section 5, the window may be enforced More force than material 5 allows before retracting. May the window also Retreat less than the distance required under Section 5.”
Additionally, the agency described the risk, saying:If the window closes and detects an obstruction, the condition may increase risk of injury to the passenger.
However, Tesla will not need to bring more than a million vehicles to service centers to solve the problem. It can be fixed via a software update, which will be sent by Tesla and downloaded to each affected vehicle online.
Musk believes the “recall” terminology needs an update as malfunctioning vehicles such as Auto Window Reversal can be treated with downloadable fixes:
The terms are outdated and inaccurate. This is a small software update over the air. To our knowledge, there were no injuries.
– Elon Musk September 22 2022
The term leads to a confusing description of the problem, as most people resonate with the word “recall,” with a problem that must be fixed with hardware replacement. However, the NHTSA continued to use “summons” to describe these types of issues.
However, NHTSA said Teslarati In February, manufacturers were asked to start recalls for any fix, including software updates. According to the agency’s description, a software update still falls under the definition of “recall”.
Tesla software fixes, the status quo of NHTSA, and the imminent need for updated recall terms
Tesla isn’t the only company that has suffered from confusion over over-the-air recalls and software updates. Ford was able to address nearly 49,000 Mustang Mach-E units in June due to a failure of the high-voltage main battery connector through software updates.
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