Tesla Recalls – Why Are There So Many? - EV Motors

Tesla Recalls – Why Are There So Many?

There is nothing new about recalls initiated by automobile companies. They happen once in a blue moon and only when a serious issue is discovered. But it becomes a huge deal when the recalls are too frequent.

Currently, it is Tesla that’s under fire, and for good reason. The company issued a major recall in January 2022, followed by one at the beginning of February, and then another a few days ago on the 9th of the same month.

Tesla recalls over heat pump issue

The latest recall is related to a heat pump issue, which may affect defrosting performance in the 2020-2022 vehicles. Tesla has recalled 26,681 units to fix the problem. But many are questioning the move since the heat pump issue is something that the company can fix through an over the air update.


The relevant update has been sent through to the affected vehicles and there doesn’t seem to be a need for the recall. Nevertheless, the EV brand has decided to recall the affected cars to be safe.

But why deal with the logistics of such an operation and perhaps the shame of a recall?

Those that are sceptical about the Tesla recall must know that the issue is serious enough that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. The core problem causes the refrigerant to get stuck inside the evaporator and suck away the refrigerant from other vital systems. All of this affects the HVAC system and cabin heating in particular.

It should be noted that the windshield defroster system still operates even with the failure, and the blower motor also works. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has cited the above reason for the recall.

In other words, the Tesla vehicles failed to qualify with the standards set by the federal authority for windshield defrosting and defogging. That led to successive recalls in a matter of months.

Why the Earlier Recalls?

The first recall initiated in February is connected to a software update. The NHTSA, which is supervising the recalls, states that Tesla must fix the “rolling stop” update that first went out to consumers in October 2020.

Tesla included the new feature as part of its Self-Driving program. The rolling stop update meant that the car wouldn’t stop at all-way intersections, even with a designated stop sign. Hence, it posed a potential risk for the safety of everyone on the road. Once again, the issue was solved through an over the air update system.


The January recall, however, is not rectifiable through a software upgrade. The issue, as noted by the authorities, was that the rear-view camera cable harness was possibly getting damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk. As a result, the camera image wasn’t being displayed properly. Therefore, Tesla recalled 356,309 Model 3 cars to rectify the failure.

A similar problem plagued 119,009 Model S vehicles. It was noted that the frunk latch assembly might be out of alignment, in which case a recall was necessary.

Service Recall Vs Software Update

Tesla relies heavily on software, and their cars are more computers than automobiles. So, many of their issues are solvable through over the air updates. But that only covers areas that are under the computer’s domain. The latch issues, on the other hand, are more hardware related and require extra assistance.


However, even though Tesla can do a lot of things from their backyard, the government doesn’t accept it due to their regulations. The authorities have to initiate a recall if the safety rules are not met. Hence, Tesla has no way out other than agreeing to the recalls whenever they are enforced.

Moreover, until the company and the authorities reach a consensus on the issue, we might see similar recalls in the future.

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