Even though Tesla performed better than most automakers in 2021, it was not immune to the semiconductor chip shortage that plagued more than just the automotive industry last year.
Part of the reason the company was able to sell nearly 1 million cars was by being agile and rewriting their software to use alternative chip suppliers.
According to a report from CNBC, Tesla may have tried another tactic in order to reach their fourth-quarter sales goals.
Based on information from two unidentified sources and internal communications seen by CNBC, Tesla apparently removed one of two electronic control units (ECUs) normally included in the steering racks of some Model 3 and Model Y cars.
While the ECUs are considered redundant and mainly installed as a backup, it could lead to an issue further down the road when Tesla releases a level 3, or hands-free version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software.
According to the same sources, these impacted vehicles can still use the current Autopilot and FSD software, which is at level 2, without both ECUs.
But if the owners of these cars have purchased FSD and Tesla moves to a level 3 system, they will need a steering rack retrofit to add the secondary ECU, the sources explained.
Ultimately, Tesla decided not to notify the owners of these cars, deeming it unnecessary until the next advancement in FSD features.
Tesla has not confirmed the report, and the sources did not provide any information on the number of cars impacted by the change.
Additionally, they only had knowledge of this happening at Giga Shanghai, and did not know if a similar change took place at Tesla’s Fremont factory in California.