Within the past week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued recall orders over more than 120, 000 vehicles manufactured by a variety of well known automobile brands, of which Elon Musk’s Tesla made the list with 54,676 of its Model X SUVs over poor vehicle controllers on the model causing an incorrect indication of brake fluid levels which would likely lead to poor brake performance and a higher risk of collision while driving.
Over the last 10 years there has been a steady increase in the number of recalls of vehicles as a result of manufacturers oversight in identifying defects in vehicle components before they are released into car dealerships for sale. Poor data analysis also plays a major part in car manufacturers inability to catch defects sooner. Hence recalls are an important system in eliminating unreasonable risks to drivers safety.
According to the NHTSA report on certain MY 2021-2023 Model X vehicles, the vehicle controller which detects the sensor voltage that indicates brake fluid levels has an insufficient threshold range at low fluid levels. The safety risk is such that when a vehicle controller does not indicate low brake fluid levels to the driver, this affects brake pedal feel or brake performance, thereby increasing the chance of a collision. An estimated 98% of the Model X SUVs carry the identified defect. Read the full recall report here
It is advised to check if a vehicle has an open recall while looking to make a purchase, to know if the affected component can be replaced by the dealership, such recalls usually come at no cost to the customer intending to make a purchase. Open recalls on particular or various vehicle models as well as safety reports can be verified on the official database of the Department of Transportation in respective regions.
Tesla has since put out a free OTA software update and will be mailing owner notification letters to its customers owners by December 12th.