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Tesla Cuts Control Units In Cars To Counter Chip Shortage

tesla july10 08feb22 lt

EV maker Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) is removing one of the control units from the steering console of some of the Model 3 and Model Y cars manufactured in China to meet the fourth-quarter sales record amidst the growing semiconductor crisis. The step, reported by CNBC, was not announced by the manufacturer as it has shipped thousands of such models for sale in China, Australia, the UK, and other European markets.

The maker has not informed the customers as it believes that the lack of the part will not hinder the driving experience. The company has fared better than many other companies who have had to shut down production owing to the supply chain woes.

Musk said last month during a conference that the shortage is not going to be a long-term issue and he also blamed other manufacturers for hogging chips, thus creating a toxic cycle of chips shortage.

The modified cars, although will not have difficulty using the level 2 assisted-driving feature, will not have the Full Self-Driving facility available to them which costs another $12,000 or $199 per month. To have the software enabled in the cars, owners would have to take it to a company workshop and retrofit the column.

Musk has used the much-controversial FSD feature as one of the key selling points of the car and has promised as recently as last month that the feature will be available by the end of this year. "My personal guess is that we'll achieve full self-driving this year at a safety level significantly greater than a person. So the cars in the fleet essentially becoming self-driving via a software update, I think, might end up being the biggest increase in asset value of any asset class in history. We shall see," Musk said during the earnings conference.

The company expects to fix any bug that may result from such a call over its over-the-air software updates.

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