Tesla recalls over 120,000 cars over door risks

Tesla recalls over 120,000 cars over door risks
  • PublishedDecember 24, 2023

Tesla is recalling more than 120,000 of its vehicles because unlocked doors may open during a crash, increasing the risk of injury, according to safety regulators.

The defect affects some 2021-2023 Model S and X vehicles in the United States, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filing.

Tesla said it first learned of the issue during a routine crash test on December 6 and is unaware of any injuries or claims resulting from the problem.

The automaker has released an over-the-air (OTA) software update for cars affected by the safety defect. Notification letters are expected to be mailed to owners of those cars by February 17, 2024.

Owners can also contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla’s number for this recall is SB-23-00-009.

Autopilot risks

Just last week, Tesla recalled nearly all 2 million of its vehicles in the United States to limit the use of its Autopilot feature. The recall came after a two-year probe by US safety regulators of roughly 1,000 crashes in which the feature was engaged.

The NHTSA said the Autopilot system can give drivers a false sense of security and be easily misused in certain dangerous situations when Tesla’s technology may be unable to safely navigate the road.

Tesla issued an OTA update that gives drivers more warnings when they are not paying attention to the road while the Autopilot’s “Autosteer” function is on. Those notifications will remind drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road, according to a statement from NHTSA.

The recall came two days after a detailed investigation was published by the Washington Post that found at least eight serious accidents, including some fatalities, in which the the Autopilot feature should not have been engaged in the first place.

The value of autopilot

With a market cap of more than $791 billion, Tesla (TSLA) is by far the most valuable automaker in the world despite lagging in sales behind competitors like Ford and Toyota.

That valuation is based largely on future projections of sales, proprietary Tesla software and its development of AI. But recent recalls may threaten Tesla’s top position.

“In the long term, I think, has the potential to make Tesla the most valuable company in the world by far,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in October on a call with Wall Street analysts. “If you have fully autonomous cars at scale and fully autonomous humanoid robots that are truly useful, it’s not clear what the limit is.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Shares of Tesla are up 105% in 2023 overall but are down 1.6% in the last six months.


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