The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published the latest Tesla ‘recall,’ affecting nearly 2.2 million cars. And it is for the dumbest reason yet, the font size used for the indicator icons is too small.
This latest recall will once again be fixed through an over-the-air (OTA) software update, that has again been pushed out before the recall notice was published, showcasing a perfect example of why the NHTSA needs to update their antiquated recall system.
According to NHTSA documents published on Friday, all Tesla vehicles built since 2012, including the new Model 3 and the Cybertruck, have indicator icons that are too small. The NHTSA says that as part of a routine investigation they discovered the icons were not compliant with the letter font size height requirements, making the vehicles in violation of FMVSS No. 135, S5.5.5 (a).
The specific icons in question are the PARK, BRAKE, and ABS warning indicators that appear on the main display, all of which have been updated to be “not less than 3.2mm (1/8 inch)” in size.
Here is a comparison of the old icons (top), and the new icons (bottom). (via @greentheonly)
These new icons will be included in the 2023.44.30.13 software update, which started being deployed to the fleet in late January. Vehicles in production received the update in software version 2023.44.200.5.1 (Model S/3/X/Y) and 2023.44.9.2 (Cybertruck), both of which entered production in January 23 and 24 respectively.
Tesla owners, and Elon Musk himself, have long been calling for a change to the NHTSA recall system, requesting the agency update their terminology to catch up with the times where the majority of Tesla’s “recalls” are fixed with a simple OTA software update, rather than a physical recall that requires a service visit and having actual parts replaced or fixed. Never has this been more evident with today’s “recall,” which if you read mainstream media headlines would make you think Tesla is having to physically recall 2.2 million vehicles because of a serious safety flaw.
You can read the full recall notice below. No similar recall has been posted yet by Transport Canada.