On September 21, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a recall for over 1 million Tesla electric vehicles across all of its model lines: Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X.
This recall must be done because problems with the so-called window can increase the risk of injury. Tesla responded to the recall by saying the issue could be fixed via an over-the-air software update.
Vehicle owners do not have to come to an authorized repair shop to do physical repairs. Affected Tesla owners can simply sit back at home, and Tesla will make improvements with software updates.
The problem is how NHTSA says the fix with an over-the-air software update is a recall. Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t happy that NHTSA is calling it a recall.
The Tesla CEO suggested NHTSA should evolve over time and no longer call over-the-air software updates a recall. Elon Musk argues that there is no physical repair of the vehicle when an OTA software update is performed.
The terminology is outdated & inaccurate. This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 22, 2022
The Tesla CEO stressed that the use of the term recall is only used when vehicle owners are required to take their vehicle to an authorized repair shop.
The thing to note is that calling this a recall can have an effect on the brand’s reputation, because people in the cloud imagine that a recall of 1.1 million vehicles is an extraordinary thing.
NHTSA itself says that auto manufacturers to initiate recalls for any repairs if there are problems with their vehicles, including software updates. According to NHTSA, a software update still falls within the definition of a “recall.”
Tesla isn’t the only automaker to issue recalls for fixes that only involve over-the-air software updates. Tesla is one of the pioneers of over-the-air software updates.