Tesla is contacting owners of Model S and Model X vehicles to perform a repair of the MultiMediaCard (eMMC), which was recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, in January. Some owners who have already paid for the specific part and repair could be eligible for reimbursement, Tesla said.
“Our records indicated that you own, or previously owned, a Model S or a Model X built before March 2018. Your vehicle is subject to conditions covered under the 8GB embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) recall that addresses the malfunction of the eMMC memory chip due to accumulated wear,” the email says.
In mid-January 2021, the NHTSA requested that Tesla repair 158,000 Model S vehicles built between 2012 and 2018, and Model X vehicles from 2016 to 2018, citing that the “controller wear-out condition can cause the loss of the rearview camera display, defrost/defog control settings, and exterior turn signal lighting, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.”
Tesla ultimately complied with the NHTSA’s wishes, and agreed to recall 134,951 total Model S and Model X vehicles on February 2nd.
“Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles with a center display equipped with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. When the 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory device for the center display reaches lifetime wear, the eMMC controller will no longer be able to maintain the integrity of the filesystem, causing a failure in some of the center display functions,” the NHTSA wrote on its website.
The flash chips that were used were subjected to regular use which ultimately brought on routine wear and tear. Tesla offered a warranty extension on the affected cars to fix the issue after admitting that the MCU units with these chips “will inevitably fail.”
Some owners have already had the issue fixed and may have had to pay out-of-pocket to have the eMMC replacement performed. “If you previous paid out-of-pocket for the specific part and condition covered by the recall, and the repair was within the 8GB eMMC Recall period, you may be eligible for reimbursement,” Tesla said. It then gave a link to complete a reqiured reimbursement request form, but owners could reach out the the company directly as well.
Tesla is contacting owners well ahead of the expected start date of the recall, which the NHTSA listed as March 30, 2021. Tesla Service Centers will provide owners with a replacement free of charge.
Tesla China also issued a recall of 36,126 Model S and Model X vehicles with the same issue in February.
The NHTSA’s recall letter regarding the eMMC replacement is available below.