Tesla is being ordered to recall nearly 1.1 million vehicles in the US due to the cars’ automatic side windows not working properly – potentially closing on people’s fingers if they’re in the way.
The issue isn’t with the glass, but with the software for the mechanism that operates it.
Of the 1,096,762 vehicles affected, the majority are Model 3 sedans produced between 2017-2022.
However, the recall notice issued by the NHTSA notes that examples of the Tesla Model Y produced from 2020-2022, and Model S and Model X produced from 2021-2022 are also affected.
The recall notice states that “the window automatic reversal system may not react correctly after detecting an obstruction.”
That ‘implied obstruction’, of course, is an occupant’s fingers or arm.
The consequence of this is that “a closing window may exert excessive force by pinching a driver or passenger before retracting, increasing the risk of injury.”
Fortunately, Tesla owners won’t have to head to a service center to have the issue corrected.
The company will instead issue an over-the-air update to fix the software.
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It’s also worth noting that vehicles produced after September 13, 2022 already feature the updated software.
So while you won’t be inconvenienced by the process of having it fixed, Tesla will be scrambling to update more than a million cars.
How common are recalls like this?
As cars become more advanced and tech-heavy, recalls for electronic and software issues are increasingly common.
Automotive News reports that in 2021, the NHTSA issued a record number of recalls in the USA.
A total of 406 recall campaigns were issued, up from 317 in 2020.
However, the total number of vehicles recalled dropped from 28.9 million in 2020 to 21.6 million in 2021.
This is part of why Tesla CEO Elon Musk called out The Wall Street Journal in 2018 for only reporting on Tesla’s recalls, and not those issued by other companies.
He also took issue with the term ‘recall’ in relation to this current campaign, tweeting: “The terminology is outdated & inaccurate.”
What would happen if you got your finger caught in a car window as it was closing?
This is something the Supercar Blondie team found itself wondering recently.
So, we decided to investigate by seeing just how well the automatic window retraction system worked in a range of cars from a Suzuki Jimny to a Rolls-Royce.
We used everything from vegetables and sausages to real human hands to find out.
Check it out below: