Tesla is replacing faulty Autopilot cameras in some cars, internal documents say

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  • Tesla is replacing repeater cameras in some US-made Model S, X and 3 vehicles because of faulty circuit boards inside, according to internal correspondence seen by Businesshala.
  • Although the company has yet to issue a recall, it has authorized service workers to replace faulty cameras for eligible Tesla owners on a good faith basis — that is, on company time.
  • When repeater cameras aren’t working properly, Tesla owners may see a blank or choppy video feed on their car’s main display, lose visibility of what’s happening in their vehicle’s blind spots, or May receive alerts that their autopilot function is limited.

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Tesla is replacing repeater cameras in the front fenders of at least several hundred Model S, X and 3 vehicles made in Fremont, California, although the company has yet to initiate the voluntary recall, delivered by the company in late November. According to internal service documents given.

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Internal communications said the repeater cameras on some Model S, X and 3 vehicles made by Tesla in the US have faulty PCBs, or printed circuit boards. A bad PCB can cause cameras to lose “electrical continuity” and fail well before cameras that can be reasonably expected to require upgrade or replacement.

Repeater cameras located below and slightly in front of the side view mirrors in the front fenders of some Tesla vehicles, for example, enable driver assistance features such as Autopilot, Navigate on Autopilot, and Smart Summon. They also provide drivers with visibility into what is happening around their car’s blind spots.

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When repeater cameras aren’t working, drivers typically see a black box or choppy video feed on their Tesla’s main display, and may receive an alert that their Autopilot function is limited. drive tesla, a Canadian blog for Tesla owners and enthusiasts, wrote about repeater camera issues in December 2020.

Since Tesla has identified a problem with the PCBs in the repeater cameras, owners of affected vehicles may be eligible to receive a “good faith” repair, according to a current Tesla sales manager and a former parts manager. A goodwill repair is done on company money, a repair where the customer pays or a warranty agreement that obliges Tesla to provide repairs.

The former parts manager said that internal service notices can sometimes be preceded by a voluntary recall. However, this person said, these notices usually authorize service workers to give goodwill repairs to customers who complain about paying to replace a part.

The current employee asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, and the former employee sought anonymity, citing privacy concerns.

Tesla recently introduced voluntary recalls for thousands of Model Y crossover utility vehicles made in China and the US that can fracture too easily because of suspension parts, increasing the risk of a crash, according to public notices in both countries. Is.

The Model Y suspension knuckle recall in China and the US was announced by the State Administration for Market Regulation of China and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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