Tesla Recalling 475,000 Cars Over Camera, Hood Latch Issues


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that Tesla will be recalling 356,309 examples of the Model 3 presumed to be suffering from a defect that can cause the rearview camera to malfunction. Another 119,009 Model S sedans will also be recalled over a problem pertaining to the frontal hood latch. 

Regulators believe both items pose a safety risk to drivers and Tesla will be issuing a formal recall to address the matter, though the hood latch seems the more hazardous issue. The Model 3 (MY 2017-2020) is only being repaired over the potential for the rear camera cable harness getting pinched after repeated trunk use. Tesla believes that some units could have been placed in a way that makes them subject to undue wear, causing the camera display to fail.

While the Model S recall similarly pertains to the premature wearing of parts, it’s another one of those hood latch problems where the worst-case scenario involves you getting a face full of sheet metal at highway speeds. It’s one of those issues you cannot believe manufacturers are still getting wrong, yet persists with surprising regularity. It wasn’t all that long ago since we were writing about how Honda was recalling nearly 800,000 automobiles for roughly the same item. The Japanese company was worried that drivers would be blinded by the hood while in motion and the same applies to Tesla — with the American automaker making explicit mention of hoods coming undone “without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash” in its report to the NHTSA.

On the upside, documents state that the manufacturer is not aware of any deaths, injuries, or crashes, related to the issues with the Model S and Model 3 recalls.

The automaker has also heeded guidance from the regulator to stop allowing people to play video games using the infotainment system while a vehicle is in motion. Tesla was chided last month by the media for allowing passengers to play a subset of video games the driver could see and even take advantage of if they were okay with violating the company’s terms. While the NHTSA was running an investigation into the matter (one of several it has against Tesla that could easily be levied at any number of legacy automakers) the automaker simply removed the feature from its user interface. Though it has not made any formal promises to regulators to keep it that way.

[Image: Virrage Images/Shutterstock]

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