This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
One of the most iconic features of Tesla's electric cars is the simple instrument panel and the giant touchscreen that sits on the center console. However, that touchscreen has been experiencing a lot of failures, and on June 23, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will be surveying about 63,000 Tesla Model S vehicles. And last week, Tesla changed the warranty on this touchscreen from four years or 50,000 miles (about 80,000 km) to two years or 25,000 miles (about 40,000 km).
A normal car has a lot of switches and buttons in the center console for vehicle-related controls, comfort features, infotainment, etc. Tesla cars consolidate them into a single touchscreen. It has a simple dashboard that is unlike any other. Even video games can be played on the screen.
However, some Tesla owners found that the touchscreen became increasingly unresponsive in the first few years after purchase and the problem of having to wait for minutes to start up, or having to reboot after the screen freezes. In some cases, the media control unit (MCU) was reported to eventually stop working altogether.
The cause of this problem is said to be that the 8GB of eMMC flash memory built into the MCU as storage is overwritten up to the maximum number of times the MCU can be rewritten, and it occurs mostly in early model Tesla cars that are getting older. Tesla used these MCUs until the 2018 Model S and Model X.
In the past, if an MCU failed within the four-year warranty period, Tesla would replace it with a new or refurbished MCU with the same four-year warranty. But last week, Tesla updated the MCU warranty policy on its website, cutting the warranty period in half, according to Electrek. Electrek states that this shortened warranty period also appears to apply to the MCU2, which has begun to be offered as a $2,500 upgrade. The eMMC issue is said to be unresolved in MCU2 as well. However, eMMC capacity is higher in MCU2, so it may take a long time for the problem to appear.
Tesla has just recently started offering the option of a computer with Full Self Driving (FSD) for vehicles equipped with MCU1, but there have reportedly been a number of reports of MCU problems in vehicles after this option was introduced.
Elon Musk CEO has gradually increased the price of the FSD option, which was initially offered at an unbeatable (?) $5,000, forcing Tesla owners to buy it early. However, it seems to be the right decision from a safety standpoint for Tesla owners who are considering installing FSDs to first wait until the MCU1 glitch is resolved or replaced with MCU2. We're going to wait for the results of the NHTSA survey first.
Incidentally, Tesla used to offer an extended warranty service for Tesla cars sold in Japan, extending the warranty period from 40 years or 80,000 km to 8 years or 160,000 km, but this has recently been discontinued. It is estimated that it costs approximately 300,000 yen to replace the MCU. In the case of Japanese cars, the general warranty period for new cars is 3 years or 60,000 km, and the special warranty period is 5 years or 100,000 km.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.