Tesla Recalls Nearly Half a Million Vehicles, Citing Safety Issues
A strong year for Tesla ended on a sour note as the company announced in late December that it is recalling nearly half a million cars over a pair of defects.
Tesla is calling back some 475,000 cars because of hood and rearview camera issues. Both problems increase the risk of a crash, the company told federal regulators.
A faulty hood latch is to blame for the first recall, covering some 120,000 Model S vehicles. It could cause hoods on recalled cars to fly up unexpectedly, blocking drivers from seeing the road ahead.
Tesla is also recalling some 355,000 Model 3 vehicles over defective cables that could wear over time and cause rearview cameras to become inoperable.
“Unavailability of the rearview camera display may affect the driver’s rearview and increase the risk of a collision,” Tesla said in a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “If there is a loss of rearview camera display, the driver can continue to operate the vehicle by performing a shoulder check and using their mirrors when backing.”
Tesla sold more than twice as many cars last year as in 2020, the New York Times reports. Those gains came as the pandemic and a related chip shortage caused sales to plummet for major auto manufacturers around the globe.
California Tesla Owners’ Rights
Some Tesla owners may already know that the company has struggled to ensure that its cars are safe to drive.
Federal regulators are investigating 12 accidents in which Teslas crashed into parked emergency vehicles, for example, looking at how much the vehicles’ Autopilot driver-assist system was involved. The probe comes as other accidents in California, Texas and Florida have reportedly been linked to Autopilot and motorists possibly taking their eyes off the road.
The good news for Tesla owners in California is that you do not need to wait for a recall in order to have faulty vehicles fixed. The state’s lemon law gives you the power to take action.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires Tesla and other auto manufacturers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law also forces manufacturers to buy back (or, in some situations, replace) vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes compensating the owner for the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must be made before the buyback requirement kicks in. A California lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options.