Tesla has initiated a recall affecting more than 120,000 vehicles due to concerns that unlocked doors might open during a crash, potentially escalating the risk of injuries, as per safety regulators.
The issue impacts certain 2021-2023 Model S and X vehicles in the United States, as outlined in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filing.
The automaker became aware of this problem during a routine crash test on December 6 and has not reported any injuries or claims stemming from the issue.
To address this safety concern, Tesla has rolled out an over-the-air (OTA) software update for affected vehicles. Owners can anticipate receiving notification letters by February 17, 2024.
For more information, affected owners can reach out to Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752, referencing the recall number SB-23-00-009.
In a recent development, Tesla previously recalled nearly all 2 million vehicles in the U.S. to restrict the use of its Autopilot feature. This action followed a two-year investigation by U.S. safety regulators into approximately 1,000 crashes involving the engaged Autopilot.
The NHTSA highlighted concerns that the Autopilot system might create a false sense of security and could be misused in hazardous situations where Tesla’s technology might struggle to navigate safely.
Tesla responded to this by issuing an OTA update, delivering enhanced warnings to drivers when they’re not attentive while the Autopilot’s “Autosteer” function is active. These notifications remind drivers to maintain their hands on the wheel and focus on the road, according to an NHTSA statement.
This recall comes shortly after an in-depth investigation by the Washington Post revealed at least eight severe accidents, including fatalities, where the Autopilot feature was inappropriately engaged.
Despite lagging in sales behind competitors like Ford and Toyota, Tesla holds the position of the most valuable automaker globally, boasting a market cap surpassing $791 billion.
Tesla’s valuation largely relies on future sales projections, its proprietary software, and advancements in AI. However, recent recalls might pose a challenge to Tesla’s dominant position.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, previously expressed optimism about Tesla’s potential, stating, “In the long term, I think, has the potential to make Tesla the most valuable company in the world by far… It’s not clear what the limit is if you have fully autonomous cars at scale and fully autonomous humanoid robots that are truly useful.”