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Tesla: Memory defect threatens 160,000 electric cars

A serious defect could paralyze 160,000 vehicles of the popular e-car manufacturer Tesla. Affected are the high-priced models Model S and X. It is said to be a defect in the storage unit of the media control unit. According to experts, the cars affected are threatened with a total failure sooner or later. No update can help here either.

Not the first quality defect

The number of vehicles of the company under the patronage of Elon Musk is also growing on our roads. This is not only due to this year’s premium for purchasing an e-car. It is also the good reputation the manufacturer of modern e-cars enjoys. But there is one thing that Tesla’s cars are behind the competition: quality of workmanship. If you take a closer look at the gaps in the body of a Model S or X, you will notice defects here and there that should not be allowed to occur in such high-priced vehicles. So it is not surprising that Tesla has the most problems within the first 3 months after purchase compared to 31 other US car manufacturers. The buyers mainly complained about processing defects such as paint flaws or squeaking and rattling of individual parts of the car. But these “simple” defects seem to be a real trifle in relation to the problem that has now become known. After all, the new memory defect could lead to a huge recall.

Model S and Model X are affected

The cause of the problem is an error in the media control unit. There is a flash memory here, which apparently refuses to continue to operate after a certain operating time. However, if this important memory fails, this has serious consequences for elementary functions of the entire vehicle. It seems almost ironic that the two expensive models from Tesla, of all people, should suffer from this problem. Following an investigation, the U.S. federal authorities have made it public that a total of 158,716 models will be affected. This concerns in particular the 2012 and 2018 model years.

The Tesla Model X starts with an EIA of almost 86,000 Euro. (Picture: Tesla)

Tesla itself has already confirmed the serious problem to the authorities. A total of 15,000 service cases are said to have already been reported, which contained the corresponding error. If you extrapolate this to the affected model years, you will find that in a few months almost a third of the electric cars produced had such a defect. For this reason, the owners of such models from the affected years of manufacture are rightly becoming increasingly anxious. As experts have now revealed, the risk of a defect increases with the years of the car’s life. From an age of at least 3 years, the risk of failure increases immensely.

An update cannot solve the problem

Of course, Tesla is anything but happy about this serious problem. Unlike many other faults of the smart e-car, this memory problem cannot be solved with a simple software update. In the meantime, the company has already released six updates. However, Tesla has not yet been able to achieve more than a delay of a few years. But how does it come to a failure? The memory in the affected unit is supplied with lots of system reports while driving. But at some point the 8 GB of flash memory is full. Then the unit overwrites it with the new system reports. But at some point the flash memory reaches its limits. It can only withstand a certain number of overwrites. When this point is reached, the memory defect in question occurs.

The Tesla Model S is also anything but a bargain with its entry price of just under 77,000 euros. (Picture: Tesla)

If this point is reached, in the worst case the whole car will be paralyzed. But this worst case does not always have to happen. For example, the rear view camera can also fail. Other assistance systems can also break down as a result of the memory defect. A defect in the charging function is probably particularly annoying. No matter which part of the vehicle is affected by the memory defect, the consequences are often severe.

Recall action is probably unavoidable

The defect makes big waves and rightly causes great displeasure among the many Tesla owners. In addition to the total failure of the vehicle, the frequent failure of the anti-fogging function of the air conditioning system is also criticized. This is undoubtedly a clear safety deficiency. This is apparently also the view of the US traffic authorities. Accordingly it should not surprise us if Tesla orders a recall of the models concerned in the coming weeks. Only a replacement of the affected storage unit can permanently solve the problem. Of course, owners of one of the vehicles can also initiate a replacement of the System Media Control Unit themselves. However, this will incur costs of almost 2,500 US dollars.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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