U.S. probes touchscreen failures in Tesla Model S cars

FILE PHOTO: A row of Tesla Model S sedans are seen outside the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday it had opened an investigation into 63,000 Tesla Model S cars after reports of media control unit failures that led to loss of the use of a touchscreen.

The auto safety agency said the probe, known as a preliminary evaluation, covers 2012-2015 model year vehicles and comes after it received 11 complaints alleging failures. The complaints said the media control unit failures allegedly fails prematurely due to memory wear-out. NHTSA said Tesla used the same unit in 159,000 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles built by Tesla through early-2018. The agency said a complete unit failure results in loss of audible and visual touchscreen features, such as infotainment, navigation, and web browsing and loss of rear camera image display when in reverse gear. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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