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Tesla Says Recalled Touchscreens Were Made to Last 5-6 Years

That big touchscreen that dominates the dashboard on Tesla vehicles was only intended to have a lifespan of around half a dozen years, the automaker revealed in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The government agency has requested that Tesla recall around 135,000 Model S and Model X electric cars from model years 2012-2018 to rectify screens that can freeze. When that happens it blocks drivers from accessing many vehicle functions, including those such as window defrosters that are considered safety items by NHTSA. Unlike other cars that use physical buttons, nearly every feature is accessed through the touchscreen on a Tesla.

Motor Authority picked through the filing and discovered that Tesla expects the 17-inch screen to be cycled on and off an average of 1.4 times per day, which would give it an “expected life [of] five to six years,” according to Tesla vice president of legal Al Prescott.

The recall covers cars as old as the 2012 model year, which means they may have screens that have apparently doubled Tesla’s internal lifespan expectations. Even then, those Teslas are still younger than the average car on the road, which is estimated to be just under 12 years old at this point.

Tesla has said that the recall is not necessary, though the automaker will comply with the NHTSA’s request.


Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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