After Tesla fixed another recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a software update last week, some have pointed out how frequently the automaker faces recalls. Recent data suggests that Tesla is on track to see recalls of its vehicles drop from the millions to the thousands this year, seemingly indicating continued production improvements.
According to NHTSA data, Tesla faced recalls on a total of 3.8 million vehicles in 2022. In 2023 so far, however, Tesla’s recalled vehicles only amount to around 439,000 units, putting the automaker roughly on track for about 550,000 recalls by the end of the year, as estimated by Barron’s in a recent report (via Not a Tesla App).
Automakers overall have faced more than 16 million recalls so far in 2023, and the total figure for 2022 reached 19 million. Although Tesla had a slightly higher-than-average recall rate compared to the overall chart in 2022, it’s expected to have a lower recall rate this year.
Tesla’s recall last week applied to 55,000 Model X units regarding a failed controller that wouldn’t detect or display information about low brake fluid levels. In response, Tesla simply sent out an over-the-air (OTA) software update to fix the issue, rather than customers needing to bring their vehicles into a service center.
While some of Tesla’s past recalls have required customers to have them fixed at a service center, many have not — and some have criticized the use of the word “recall” in these cases.
CEO Elon Musk has also criticized the use of the word in multiple cases, even calling it “just flat wrong” in a tweet in February.
Definitely. The word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2023