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Tesla Recalls About 135,000 Vehicles Over Touchscreen Failures

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Tesla Inc. (TSLA) has voluntarily recalled about 135,000 vehicles over touch-screen failures, making it one of the largest recall by the luxury electric car maker.

Tesla has recalled 134,951 Model S and Model X vehicles due to common touchscreen failures that can lead to the loss of several safety-related features while driving.

The recalled cars were made at Tesla's Fremont, California auto plant and include Model S sedans made between 2012 and 2018, and Model X SUVs made between 2016 to 2018.

The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Tesla in a letter last month to recall 158,716 of its Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured before 2019, after owners complained of touchscreen glitches that led to the loss of several safety-related features.

According to NHTSA, the touch screen in some models can fail when a memory chip runs out of storage capacity, which affects functions like defrosting, turn-signal functionality and driver assistance.

Tesla, in a letter to NHTSA, said that it disagreed that the issue constituted a defect in the vehicles, but will go forward with a recall.

"After carefully reviewing the agency's tentative conclusions, and the information it has offered in support thereof, Tesla respectfully disagrees that the eMMC wear-out condition constitutes a defect in the subject vehicles. Nevertheless, as is explained in further detail below, in the spirit of cooperation and to administratively conclude this investigation, as well as inquiries pending in other markets, and to provide a better experience for the customer, the company will conduct a voluntary recall and provide a free hardware remedy in addition to the over-the-air ("OTA") firmware updates we have already implemented," Tesla said in the letter.

"It is economically, if not technologically, infeasible to expect that such components can or should be designed to last the vehicle's entire useful life," Tesla said.

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