Tesla issues OTA recall for a PWS issue that has already been fixed

Tesla has issued a new recall on Friday for a problem with the pedestrian warning system (PWS) in nearly 7,000 vehicles in Canada and the United States. As with most of Tesla’s recalls lately, it is fixed with a simple over-the-air (OTA) software update, and the fix has already been deployed.

According to the recall documents posted to the Transport Canada and NHTSA websites, Tesla noticed that the PWS wasn’t working properly on an internal engineering vehicle in early February. After a quick investigation, Tesla discovered that software update 2023.32 introduced a bug where the PWS would become inadvertently muted after the vehicle had been reset.

Tesla says the issues only impacted some cars with the Intel infotainment system, and that a fix was deployed in the 2023.44.30.14 or later software versions. According to Tesla, this update was first deployed over a month ago, February 12, 2024.

In total there were 340 cars affected by the issue in Canada, and another 6,557 in the US.

The NHTSA has faced criticism lately due to their antiquated rules and regulations around recalls. Despite many cars having the ability to download OTA software updates, the agency still requires a recall notice for issues that can be fixed without the need for a physical service visit, despite the fact that in most cases with Tesla, those issues have already been fixed. Not only that, the NHTSA also requires Tesla to mail paper notifications to owners about the recalls, letters that arrive months after the fix was deployed.

This causes confusion among owners, and is an issue exacerbated by the media who write about these OTA recalls with flashy headlines that Tesla is recalling every car they have ever made, like they did recently with an update that changed the font on a few warning symbols.

Fortunately in Canada, Transport Canada allows Tesla to email notifications to owners, even going so far as to notify them in the email if their car has already received the applicable software update.

A petition has been launched recently to ask the NHTSA to stop requiring paper recall letter, and to stop classifying OTA updates as recalls. You can sign that petition here.

You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below, and read Transport Canada’s recall notice here.

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