Tesla to Recall Roughly 6,000 U.S.-Built Vehicles to Inspect Brake Caliper Bolts
Electric automaker Tesla Inc is recalling nearly 6,000 U.S.-built Model 3 and Model Y vehicles because brake caliper bolts could be loose. The bolts can puncture the tire in rare cases, resulting in a sudden loss of tire pressure leading to a possible loss of control.
The documents were made public on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The recall covers certain 2019-2021 Model 3 vehicles and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles. The company said that, in the "unlikely event" there is vehicle damage from a loose or missing fastener, it will arrange for a tow to the nearest service center for repair.
Tesla has known about the potential issue since last year, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notified the California company of a field incident in Dec 2020 involving a 2021 Tesla Model Y crossover with a missing bolt on the driver-side rear brake caliper.
Tesla's filing with The NHTSA said it had no reports of crashes or injuries related to the issue and that the company will inspect and tighten, or replace, the caliper bolts as necessary.
The company has already taken measures to prevent loosening of the bolts in the assembly process, which likely involves applying threadlocker to the bolt threads to prevent them from becoming loose, which is common practice in the auto industry for vehicle brake and steering systems fasteners. However, Tesla could not be reached for comment on the fix.
It's Tesla's third recall since last October.
In Oct 2020, Tesla announced it was recalling up to 48,442 of its Model S and Model X electric vehicles, manufactured in the U.S. and sold to customers in China, over potentially faulty and unsafe front and rear suspension components.
In Feb 2021, the company announced it was recalling up to 36,126 Model S and Model X vehicles, which were built in California and shipped to customers in China, to address errors caused by the flash memory used in the embedded Multimedia Controller (eMMC) that powers the center-mounted dashboard display.
Tesla was pressured by the NHTSA a month earlier to recall vehicles for failing touchscreen displays caused by the flash memory control unit (MCU). The request gave Tesla the opportunity to voluntarily recall the vehicles on its own, a preliminary step before the safety agency issues a mandatory recall.
The problem with the displays is known as "memory wear out". The MCU that supports the touchscreen display uses an integrated 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory device that's prone to read/write errors.
Tesla owners reported erratic operation of the display, very slow response times, map rendering issues when using navigation, random reboots or a completely black screen.
Tesla acknowledged that all of the older memory control units (MCU's) and displays used in the earlier Model S and Model X "will inevitably fail given the memory device's finite storage capacity."
The fix was to replace the 8GB eMMC with an updated version equipped with 64GB of error-correcting code (ECC) memory that offers memory failure protection.
In March 2018, Tesla announced its was recalling 123,000 Model S sedans to fix a power steering bolt that may corrode and even break in rare cases. It was the largest recall involving the Model S since its launch in June 2012.
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