A driver uses the map navigation feature on a touchscreen control panel just prior to the Tesla Motors Inc. 8.0 software update inside a Model S P90D vehicle in New York, USA. USA, Monday September 19, 2016.
Christopher Goodney | Bloomberg | fake pictures
Complaints that Tesla’s giant touchscreens may fail have caught the attention of US security regulators. USA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents that it is investigating flaws in the Tesla Model S. 2012 to 2015
Documents released Wednesday say the agency has received 11 complaints about displays in the past 13 months on vehicles that have been in use from 3.9 years to 6.3 years.
If the screens fail, the cars will lose the rear camera screen, reducing visibility. No accidents or injuries have been reported.
He left a message early Wednesday morning seeking comment from Tesla.
The probe covers 63,000 Model S vehicles with displays controlled by flash memory devices with a limited lifespan based on the number of programs and erase cycles, according to the documents. Screens may fail prematurely because memory may wear out.
The same displays and processors were used in 159,000 S models from 2012 to 2018 and X models from 2016 to 2018 built through early 2018, the agency said.
Failures also cause the loss of touch screen functions such as infotainment, navigation, and web browsing. If the displays fail, the heating and air conditioning controls will also default to automatic mode, and the limits of the battery charge current may be affected, according to the documents. The failure does not affect braking, steering, speed control or other control systems, NHTSA said.
Failures are likely to occur after performance progressively degrades, including frequent screen restarts and intermittent loss of cellular connections, the agency said.
The researchers will determine how often failures occur and the safety consequences. Depending on the result, Tesla could be forced to withdraw the vehicles.