Tesla is recalling roughly 579,000 vehicles in the United States due to a “Boombox” feature that can play noises through an external speaker, obstructing audible pedestrian alerts.
The recall is the fourth in less than two weeks, as US safety inspectors tighten their grip on the country’s largest electric car manufacturer. Tesla made judgments that violated federal motor vehicle safety regulations in two of the recalls, while the others were caused by software mistakes.
On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website that the cars and SUVs had a “Boombox” feature that allows drivers to listen to music while driving. According to the EPA, this breaches federal safety regulations that require pedestrian warning noises for electric automobiles, which produce no noise when driving.
The problem will be fixed with an over-the-air software update that will disable “Boombox” in drive, reverse, or neutral, according to the agency.
“When the vehicle is parked or in motion, the Boombox capability allows a customer to play preset or personalized sounds through the PWS [pedestrian warning system] external speaker,” the NHTSA writes in materials posted on its website.
“While Boombox and the pedestrian alarm sound are mutually exclusive noises,” the agency stated, “sounds emitted using Boombox might be viewed as obscuring or preventing the PWS from complying with safety requirements.”
According to documents, the recall affects select Tesla Model X, S, and Y vehicles from 2020 to 2022, as well as Model 3s from 2017 to 2022.
Tesla’s public relations staff was dismantled, therefore a message was left on Thursday requesting response. According to the NHTSA, the firm is not aware of any crashes or injuries as a result of the defect.
On Thursday, California authorities announced that they had filed a lawsuit against Tesla, saying that the business has been discriminating against Black employees at its plant in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the majority of its vehicles are produced.
Hundreds of worker complaints spurred the discrimination case, which was filed late Wednesday in Alameda county superior court by California’s department of fair employment and housing, according to Kevin Kish, the agency’s director.
Tesla termed the case “unfair and unhelpful” in a statement on its website.