Case Overview

FeganScott launched an investigation on behalf of 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Tesla Model X owners and lessees regarding a potential defect in the vehicles’ touchscreen media control units (MCUs).

On June 22, 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation into allegations of MCU failures in 2012-2015 Model S vehicles. NHTSA warned that the “[f]ailure of the touchscreen/MCU results in loss of the rear camera image display when reverse gear is selected, reducing rear visibility in backing maneuvers” and cautioned that the “climate control [can] default to Auto mode and [there are] limits on battery charging current and maximum state of charge when recharging.”

The alleged defect is believed to be caused by the premature wear-out of the vehicles’ embedded multi-media cards (eMMC) installed in display control units. The MCUs failures are likely to occur after periods of progressively degraded performance, which include longer power-up times, more frequent touchscreen resets, intermittent loss of cellular connectivity, and loss of navigation.

On November 12, 2020, NHTSA announced that it has expanded the scope of its investigation to include 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles. It was further revealed that in addition to the “loss of rearview/backup camera” and “loss of HVAC (defogging) setting controls[,] [t]here is also an impact on the advanced driver assistance support (ADAS), Autopilot system, and turn signal functionality due to the possible loss of audible chimes, driver sensing, and alerts associated with these vehicle functions.”

Tesla has disclosed that failure rates increase after 3 to 4 years of driving, and incidents of MCU failures have been found in over 30% of certain models produced in a given month.

Additionally, FeganScott launched an investigation into allegedly faulty suspension parts on Tesla vehicles. On November 22, 2020, NHTSA opened an investigation regarding Front Fore Link failures in Tesla 2015 -2017 Model S and 2016 – 2017 Model X vehicles, which can reportedly cause damage to tires.

NHTSA’s probe was initiated after the NHTSA received dozens of complaints of front suspension failures.

In 2015, 2017, and 2019, Tesla issued Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) concerning suspension issues in its vehicles. For example, in 2017, it acknowledged that “[s]ome Model S and Model X vehicles may have been manufactured with front suspension Fore Links that may not meet Tesla’s strength specifications.”

On October 22, 2020, Tesla was forced to recall 40K vehicles in China due to the alleged suspension defect. However, Tesla has refused to recall the same vehicles in the United States.

If you own or lease a 2012-2018 Tesla Model S or 2016-2018 Tesla Model X, or a 2015 -2017 Tesla Model S and 2016 – 2017 Tesla Model X and are interested in learning more about FeganScott’s investigations please contact info@feganscott.com