- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday issued a recall for nearly 2.2 million Tesla vehicles because the brake, park and anti-lock warning lights are too small.
- The recall affects several model years of the Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y and Cybertruck.
- Unlike a traditional recall that requires customers to bring their vehicles in for service, Tesla will repair the affected vehicles with an over-the-air software update free of charge.
The software recall comes as regulators hone in on other quality issues with Tesla vehicles.
In a separate notice, NHTSA also upgraded its ongoing investigation into sudden power steering losses that can cause drivers to lose control.
The investigation involves model year 2023 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles and affects nearly 335,000 vehicles. According to NHTSA’s report, drivers of the affected Model 3 and Y vehicles may experience a loss of steering control, frequently accompanied by driver-facing messages indicating that power steering assist is reduced or disabled.
NHTSA is now conducting an "engineering analysis," which is a prerequisite for the agency to require an automaker to recall vehicles.
The two investigations are just the latest of several issues regulators have found with Tesla vehicles since the company’s inception.
In July, Reuters reported that Tesla had shown inaccurate range estimates to drivers using a rigged algorithm. Then, in December, the automaker recalled 2 million vehicles to add “additional controls and alerts” to encourage drivers to better supervise its Autopilot system, which could be blamed for over 700 accidents and 17 fatalities since 2019, according to The Washington Post.
The brake warning light issue went unchecked by regulators for years and was discovered by NHTSA during a routine audit of a Model Y on Jan. 8. Federal regulations require automakers to install brake warning lights that are at least 3.2 mm in height to increase visibility.
Once NHTSA notified Tesla of the issue, the automaker completed its own assessment two weeks later and made the recall determination. Tesla is not aware of any accidents due to the dashboard warning lights being too small, according to the recall notice.