Federal regulators are demanding the recall of about 158,000 vehicles from Tesla Inc. over security concerns, including the largest safety measure by the electric company.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote a letter on January 13 asking Tesla to recall some Model S luxury sedans and Model X Sport utility vehicles. The NHTSA recalls that car touch screens can fail after a few years of use, affecting security functions such as defogging and backup cameras.
Some car safety memories run through millions of cars. Although historically modest, the operation will represent a relatively large memory for Tesla, which has fewer cars on the road than some of its competitors. According to market research firm Motor Intelligence, the Silicon Valley carmaker delivered about 500,000 vehicles globally last year, of which about 205,600 were in the United States. Tesla does not break its sales in terms of area.
Tesla does not need to bring the vehicles back, although the NHTSA said in a letter that if the carmaker does not take action, it will have to explain its decision. The agency can then take the matter to a public hearing and eventually try to recall it through the courts.
Sam AbuelSamid, an analyst at Guide House Insights, said the request for a memorandum was important and could cost 300 300 million to 500 500 million to resolve.