Tesla “recalls” 40K vehicles; fixes issues with OTA

Tesla is recalling 40,000 vehicles and solving the issue with an over-the-air update. Certain 2017 to 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles had an issue with the electronic power assist steering system.

According to the filing with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. the system may experience a loss of power steering assist when driving on rough roads or after hitting a pothole. Tesla identified 314 vehicle alerts for this issue for U.S. vehicles that may be related to the recall.

Over 97% of the recalled vehicle have installed an update that has already solved the recall issue by November 1, Tesla said in the filing.

“As of November 1, 2022, more than 97% of the affected vehicles installed firmware release 2022.36.5 or a later firmware release. No further action is necessary from owners whose vehicles are equipped with firmware release 2022.36.5 or a later firmware release.”

The NHTSA’s terminology for OTA updates can be a little misleading for Tesla customers. In September, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even pointed this out, calling the terminology “outdated and inaccurate.”

This happened after the agency issued a recall on over one million Tesla EVs over a window system malfunction which was solved by a simple OTA update. Typically, when a recall takes place, a customer has to bring the item to the dealership for an in-person fix.

In 2021, the regulator began demanding that Tesla issue a recall when it decides to use an OTA software update to fix issues that should have been a recall.

“Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA,” the regulator said.

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