On January 13, in an unusual procedure, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Transport Canada's U.S. equivalent, formally called on Tesla to recall vehicles because it deemed certain 2012-2018 Model S sedans and 2016-2018 Model X SUVs to be a safety concern.
Typically, manufacturers agree to make voluntary repairs before the agency makes a formal request. NHTSA had asked Tesla to respond to its request by January 27, but Tesla agreed the same day the request was made, the agency confirmed.
Tesla will recall a total of 134,951 vehicles with touchscreens that could fail. The agency said the screen failures pose significant safety concerns, including the loss of images from rearview cameras and windshield defogging and defrosting systems that “may decrease the driver’s visibility in inclement weather”.
Tesla stated in its application to NHTSA that “in the interest of bringing administrative closure to the investigation and to ensure the best ownership experience for our customers,” it has agreed to a voluntary recall.