Tesla’s recalls are piling up, exposing the danger of hyper scaling

The news: Another week, another massive Tesla recall. The EV maker has started 2022 plagued by recalls numbering in the hundreds of thousands. More worrying is that many of the issues focus on vehicle safety or are problems that traditional carmakers have long solved.

More on this: Tesla recently recalled 575,000 EVs over its Boombox features, which could obscure mandated Pedestrian Warning System sounds, per Electrek.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has at least 23 active investigations into crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot tech, says the Boombox feature enables vehicle occupants to play preset or custom sounds through external speakers, violating safety standards.
  • EVs are silent and don’t generate noises like combustion engines do, so they play recordings to warn pedestrians and cyclists. Custom sounds can make it hard to hear the tone that all EVs are legally required to play while in motion.
  • As with many of the other recalls, Tesla promises to fix the issue with an over-the-air software update.

The problem: This is the fourth recall for Tesla in recent weeks that involved the company’s entire current line of vehicles. Other issues include illegal rolling-stop programming, faulty seat belt alerts, enabling video games to be played in its center screens while the vehicle is moving, and faulty heat pumps, leaving 26,000 models without heat or defrosters in winter. 

We’re starting to see cracks in Tesla’s tech-focused approach to car design and development. These safety issues are multiplying as the company hyper scales to meet demand.

  • Unlike traditional carmakers, which develop models around driver and passenger safety standards, Tesla’s focus on performance and luxury often comes at the cost of compromised passenger security. 
  • Various EV features are managed remotely and unlocked by software updates, making it difficult for safety regulators to keep updated on the changes.
  • This could become an industry-wide problem as more EVs launch in the coming years.