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Tesla to recall 356k Model 3 cars with malfunctioning rearview cameras

Credit: Tesla

Tesla is recalling over 356,000 Model 3 vehicles based on potential issues owners may encounter with the rearview camera cable, which could be damaged when the trunk is closed. This can cause the camera to malfunction, documents state.

The recall applies to 356,309 units, according to a Safety Recall Report shared with Teslarati by the NHTSA. Only 1% of the vehicles recalled are expected to have the defect, the documents state. It applies to Model 3 sedans manufactured between July 15, 2017 and September 30, 2020.

Tesla Model 3 (Credit: u/Mr_Tank on Reddit)

“The Model 3 trunk harness is equipped with a solid core coaxial cable that provides the rearview camera feed for visibility on the center display. Over time, repeated opening and closing of the trunk lid may cause excessive wear to the coaxial cable. If the wear causes the core of the coaxial cable to separate, the rearview camera feed is not visible on the center display,” the NHTSA’s description of the defect states. The agency states that excessive damage to the coaxial cable can cause the unavailability of the rearview camera. This risk “may affect the driver’s rearview and increase the risk of a collision. If there is a loss of rearview camera display, the driver can continue to operate the vehicle by performing a shoulder check and using their mirrors when backing,” the NHTSA added.

It appears that the damage to the coaxial cable is caused by a harness on the trunk lid, which extends or folds as the trunk opens or closes. While the trunk is in its closed position, the harness can fold and experience a tight bend radius over an extended period, “stressing the core of the cable.” Owners can observe visible material wear on the harness to see if their car is affected. The wear can cause flickering or intermittent rearview camera visibility on the center display.

The issues were first observed by the Field Quality team, which observed “a potential trend in trunk harness consumption in Service and initiated an engineering study.” The recall determination was made on December 14, after the investigation came to a close on December 10. The NHTSA observed 2,301 warranty claims and 601 field reports that related to this malfunction between October 2017 and December 2021. Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or deaths due to the malfunction.

This is the third recall on the Model 3 in 2021, the first two being related to seatbelt and brake caliper bolt issues.

It is the second recall Tesla has issued today, the other relating to a frunk hatch on the Model S sedan. Both recalls will be repaired by Tesla free of charge, the company said.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Tesla Model 3 Rearview Camera Cable Recall by Joey Klender on Scribd

Tesla to recall 356k Model 3 cars with malfunctioning rearview cameras
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