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Tesla recalls almost half a million electric cars over safety issues

Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Image: Newspress UK

Tesla is recalling more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address rear-view camera and boot issues that increase the risk of crashing, the US road safety regulator said on Thursday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been discussing another camera issue with the carmaker, while probing the company's driver assistant system.

The model years affected in the recall range from 2014 to 2021.

Tesla is recalling 356,309 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles to address rear-view camera issues and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to bonnet problems, the federal regulator said.

Tesla could not be reached for comment.

For Model 3 sedans, "the rear-view camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the boot, preventing the rear-view camera image from displaying," the NHTSA said.

Tesla identified 2,301 warranty claims and 601 field reports regarding the issue for US vehicles.

For Model S vehicles, latch problems may cause a bonnet to open "without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash," Tesla said.

Tesla was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issues cited in the recall the of the cars, the NHTSA said.

Tesla shares fell as much as 3% in the morning, but rebounded and were last trading slightly higher about $1,088.76 (roughly R17,328.49). The world's most valuable carmaker is expected to report record quarterly vehicles deliveries ons Saturday.

This month, the NHTSA said it was talking to Tesla about side view camera issues in some vehicles.

CNBC reported that Tesla was replacing defective repeater cameras in the front fenders of some US-made vehicles without recalling the parts.

The NHTSA has been investigating 580,000 Tesla vehicles over Tesla's decision to allow games to be played on car screens while they are in motion.

Tesla has agreed to remove the gaming features while the cars are moving, according to the NHTSA.

Under pressure from the NHTSA, Tesla in February agreed to recall 135,000 vehicles with touchscreen displays that could fail and raise the risk of a crash.

In August, the NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into Tesla's driver assistance system after a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.



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