By Hyunjoo Jin
SANFRANCISCO – Tesla Inc is recalling more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address rearview camera and trunk issues that increase the risk of crashing, the U.S. road safety regulator said on Thursday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been discussing another camera issue with the automaker, while probing the company’s driver assistant system.
The model years affected in the recall range from 2014 to 2021, and the total number of recalled vehicles is almost equivalent to the half a million vehicles Tesla delivered last year.
Around 200,000 Tesla vehicles will be recalled in China, the country’s market regulator said on Friday.
The U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer is recalling 356,309 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles to address rearview camera issues and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to front hood problems, the federal regulator said.
Tesla could not be reached for comment.
For Model 3 sedans, “the rearview camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying,” the NHTSA said.
Tesla identified 2,301 warranty claims and 601 field reports regarding the issue for U.S. vehicles.
For Model S vehicles, latch problems may lead a front trunk to open “without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash,” Tesla said.
Tesla said it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issues cited in the recall of Model 3 and Model S cars, the NHTSA said.
Tesla shares fell as much as 3% in the morning but rebounded and were last trading slightly higher around $1,088.76. The world’s most valuable automaker is expected to report record quarterly vehicles deliveries as early as Saturday.
China’s market regulator said that Tesla will recall close to 200,000 vehicles in the country, including 19,697 imported model S, 35,836 imported model 3, and 144,208 China-made model 3.
Tesla is recalling these electric cars produced ranging from 2015 and 2020 due to possible security risks such as sudden opening of the trunk lid during movement, according to a post on the website of State Admistration for Market Regulation.
This month, the NHTSA said it was talking with Tesla about sideview camera issues in some vehicles. [L1N2SU2EA]
CNBC had reported that Tesla was replacing defective repeater cameras in the front fenders of some U.S.-made vehicles without recalling the parts.
The NHTSA has been investigating 580,000 Tesla vehicles over the automaker’s decision to allow games to be played on car screens while they are in motion.
Tesla has subsequently agreed to remove such gaming features while its cars are moving, according to the NHTSA.
Under pressure from NHTSA, Tesla in February agreed to recall 135,000 vehicles with touch-screen displays that could fail and raise the risk of a crash.
In August, the NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into Tesla Inc’s driver assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.