Tesla has issued a soft recall of nearly 130,000 of its cars due to an issue with one of the AMD-made onboard chips.
The problem detected was that the centre display became laggy due to the specific piece of hardware overheating when pre-conditioning the battery for Supercharging – Tesla’s term for fast-charging – or while the vehicle is actively busy charging.
“Tesla is recalling certain 2021-2022 Model S, Model X, and 2022 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles operating certain firmware releases,” reported Electrek.
“The infotainment central processing unit (CPU) may overheat during the preparation or process of fast-charging, causing the CPU to lag or restart.”
According to PC Gamer, the car will prioritize its liquid cooling – which is shared with the infotainment system – to the batteries, leaving the CPU to overheat.
However, older Tesla vehicles with Intel-made CPUs are seemingly unaffected by this flaw, most likely due to their lower average operating temperatures.
Although it’s not a perilous problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined it could affect critical functions of the car and therefore initiated the recall.
Tesla said it can fix the overheating-CPU issue with an over-the-air (OTA) software update, and that there would be no physical recall needed.
The update will improve the temperature management of the system and will be accessible to all owners, said the electric-car maker.
This is not the first incident where Tesla has had to recall vehicles over a software issue and was able to solve the problem with an OTA update.
In February this year, problems with the seat-belt reminder for over 800,000 cars were detected. This was a minor issue, and as such, an OTA update was deemed sufficient to solve it.
Although the growing frequency of these software hiccups can be a cause for concern, they highlight Tesla’s biggest advantage.
The company can solve minor niggles without physically recalling any cars and inconveniencing owners.
Tesla is one of the first manufacturers to take the practice of OTA fixes mainstream, and although it might seem like it’s not going that well right now, the automaker is benefitting immensely from this headstart in the industry.
In a few short years, most manufacturers are planning to move to subscription-based sales agreements which will rely heavily on how well they can implement OTA updates, and they will then have to play catchup with Tesla once again.