The Problem Tesla Denied For Years It Finally Found A Fix

For years Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles have had a problem. The touchscreens can go blank without warning. When that happens there are no climate controls, navigation, infotainment, or rear-view camera. And for years Tesla denied it was a problem. But it was such a problem that there is an open NHTSA investigation going on for six months. Now Tesla says it has found a fix for the issue. 

Tesla is calling the fix a “warranty adjustment program”

A white Tesla Model 3 on display
A Tesla Model X on display | Getty

But Tesla isn’t calling the fix a recall. No, instead it is calling it a “warranty adjustment program.” In a statement, Tesla says, “The Warranty Adjustment Program applies only to Model S and Model X vehicles built before March 2018. Model S and Model X vehicles built during and after March 2018, as well as all Infotainment Upgrades, are not equipped with the 8GB eMMC, and parts other than the 8GB eMMC are not included in this Warranty Adjustment Program.”

It should also be mentioned that it applies to Teslas with less than 100,000 miles and are within eight years of their delivery date. The fix replaces a 64GB MultiMediaCard for the 8GB MultiMediaCard in the media control unit according to carcomplaints. It sounds simple enough for owners to do for themselves. Complainants say Tesla denied fault and instead required owners to pay for the new unit if the warranty had expired. 

Tesla says that to their knowledge there have been no crashes or injuries

Tesla model 3 cars charging in a parking garage
Teslas charging in a parking garage | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Tesla says that to their knowledge there have been no crashes or injuries from the touchscreen inadvertently going blank. But the NHTSA has received numerous complaints in what it calls “premature failure of the media-control unit due to memory wear-out.” There has also been a lawsuit for touchscreen problems in both Model S and X vehicles. 

Some owners have said when the screens go blank safety monitors for the Autopilot driver-assistance system failed. Charging ability was also affected as were safety alerts. Still, others said that if windows fogged up when the failure occurred they couldn’t get the climate controls to work. Alerts for memory storage device problems are another issue with the failure. 

Tesla says it will reimburse those who paid for repairs related to the failures

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S | Tesla

Tesla Updates Warranty For A Bad Reason: Owners Will Be Furious

In announcing the fix Tesla says in a statement that the “condition has no impact on basic vehicle driving functionality or controllability.” Tesla says it will reimburse those who paid for repairs related to the touch screen failures. The information on reimbursements won’t be sent out to customers until February 2021. 

The estimate is that 160,000 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles built mostly before 2018 are affected. Besides alienating Tesla customers it has been a public relations problem.