Tesla Recalls 120,000 Vehicles Over Doors That Could Unlock in Crash

By Reuters
December 22, 2023Business News
Tesla Recalls 120,000 Vehicles Over Doors That Could Unlock in Crash
Tesla vehicles are parked at a parking lot in Richmond, Calif., on Dec. 14, 2023. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

WASHINGTON—Tesla is recalling just over 120,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the United States over the risk of doors being unlocked and opening during a crash, the automaker said Friday.

Tesla released an over-the-air (OTA) software update for model years 2021–2023 that do not comply with federal safety standards for side-impact protection, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

Tesla said in its filing on Friday with NHTSA that earlier this month it saw a cabin door unlatch after impact on the non-struck side during a routine crash test.

The test vehicle was operating without the lockout functionality, which Tesla discovered was inadvertently excluded from the software updates it began issuing starting in late 2021.

Tesla said it was unaware of any warranty claims or injuries relating to the issue.

Last week Tesla recalled all 2.03 million of its vehicles on U.S. roads, its largest action in the country to replace or fix a defective product. The recall was to install new safeguards in its Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system, after NHTSA cited safety concerns.

NHTSA told Reuters this week it plans to test software or hardware updates Tesla installs on recalled vehicles for the Autopilot issue.

The agency’s Vehicle Research and Test Center in Ohio has several Tesla vehicles that it will use to evaluate ways to remedy any issues, NHTSA said. It will consider additional information such as “real world incident outcomes before and after the remedy rollout as well,” it added.

The agency said it had not evaluated Tesla’s over-the-air remedy “because it only received the software update on the vehicles it owns a few days ago.”

By David Shepardson

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