Tesla “recalls” over 1M cars over window issue that’s fixed with OTA update

Credit: Tesla Asia/Twitter

Headlines today would likely show that Tesla is recalling almost 1.1 million cars over a safety issue with its vehicles’ windows. While the fault may sound grave to the layman, it should be noted that the issue is fixed with a simple over-the-air software update. 

As per a Safety Recall Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla’s window automatic reversal system affects a total of 1,096,762 vehicles comprised of 2021-2022 Tesla Model S, 2021-2022 Tesla Model X, 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3, and 2020-2021 Tesla Model Y. 

Vehicles that are affected by the issue may see their windows exert more force than necessary before retracting. This could result in some passengers being injured after being pinched by their vehicles’ windows. Fortunately, Tesla noted that it is not aware of any warranty claims, field reports, crashes, injuries, or deaths connected to the issue. 

According to Tesla’s chronology of the fault, some employees during product testing in August “identified window automatic reversal system performance that had greater than expected variations in response to pinch detection.” After extensive additional testing, Tesla noted that its vehicles exceeded the requirements of FMVSS 118, Section 5 (automatic reversal systems). A voluntary recall was initiated. 

Similar to other Tesla recalls in the past, the fix for its vehicles’ window automatic reversal system is rolled out through a free over-the-air software update. Starting on September 13, 2022, vehicles that are in production and in pre-delivery containment also received a firmware release that sets power operated window operation to the requirements specified in FMVSS 118, Section 4. 

The vast majority of Tesla’s recalls for its vehicles deal with issues that are addressed through over-the-air software updates. This is quite different to the recalls that have been done by other automakers for their respective electric cars. Toyota, for example, has initiated a recall for the bZ4x because the vehicle’s wheels may fall off. Such a problem, unlike Tesla’s windows, require a far more notable fix.  

The NHTSA’s Safety Recall Report on Tesla’s window automatic reversal system issue can be viewed below. 

RCLRPT-22V702-4365 by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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