The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter to Tesla requesting that the company issue a recall on Model S cars made from 2012 through 2018, and Model X SUVs built between 2016 and 2018 over a defect with the media-console units (MCU), which could lead to a number of safety concerns.
These specific models are outfitted with a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and an integrated 8G flash memory device. Each time the car is started, a portion of the storage is used, and once that allotted capacity is full, the MCU will fail to work properly. It is believed that, on average, this inevitable occurrence will happen within five to six years.
If the MCU, or the vehicle's touchscreen display doesn't work, then drivers cannot access the rear-view camera, in addition to the controls to adjust the heating, air conditioning, and defrosting. The Autopilot feature could also be impacted, as well as the ability to hear the chimes and alerts associated with the car's indicators.
Tesla has attempted to remedy this problem with over-the-air software updates, but the NHTSA believes the company is only putting a bandaid over this issue, and wishes for Tesla to either recall the cars or formally notify their customers of this problem and explain why a recall wouldn't be necessary.
Telsa has until January 27 to respond.