Tesla told regulators that the recalled touchscreens in nearly 135,000 Model S and Model X electric cars were only expected to last five to six years—much less than the average lifespan of cars on United States roads today.
Following a formal recall request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker issued a recall this week of 134,951 cars, including the 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Tesla Model X over the potential for touchscreen failure.
Both vehicles use a 17-inch touchscreen (also known as the media control unit) not only for infotainment functions, but also for what the NHTSA considers safety-critical features, such as the window defroster/defogger and turn-signal chimes. The NHTSA also noted that screen failure could affect the Autopilot driver-assist system. It may also affect the federally-mandated rearview-camera display.
The government agency identified the source of the problem as the touchscreen’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor