According to documents posted to the NHTSA website, the agency opened the investigation on Monday after receiving 11 complaints over the previous 13 months.
When the failure occurs, the driver is left without the main touchscreen unit in the car, which controls many of the cars functions. The failure does not affect steering, acceleration, or braking, and no accidents have been reported as a result of the failure.
The older MCU1 (Media Control Unit) processors, which were supplied by Nvidia, were installed in Model S and X vehicles from 2012 until 2018. The investigation will only cover an estimated 63,000 Model S vehicles sold between 2012 and 2015.
Tesla introduced a new MCU2 in 2018 featuring an Intel Atom processor, which seems to have corrected the issue. Owners who have had their MCU1 fail have had to pay for a replacement.
Another option is to get the newer MCU2, but owners have to pay more for that upgrade.