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MCU fails for the second time

rickrickrick

Member
Nov 29, 2015
82
64
Washington, DC
Make the case to them that your MCU was already having issues before 50k miles. When they finally die due to the inevitable eemc^2 failure they've usually been having issues for a while before they die for good.

This was the case for me, I just never realized the potential issues and outcome. I've had multiple instances, to include while driving, when the center screen either froze or rebooted. Had I known what was happening at the time then I absolutely would have brought it to the attention of the service teams, to include my appointments for other warranty repairs or my pre-purchased annual service plan.
 

aaron0k

...
Apr 1, 2013
665
607
-
Total quote for a remanufactured MCU if I keep the old MCU is $2,443.99:

1. Media Control Unit (Touchscreen) (Remove & Replace) MCU,MDLX,NA PREMIUM,REMAN(1098010-00-D) --> $2,070 for parts & labor
2. MCU Core Charge(1496757-00-A) --> $250 for me to keep the old MCU, they later told me it should have been $500 (they noted this in the quote)

Subtotal is $2,320
Tax is $123.99
Total $2,443.99

If it helps, here's what I paid in January for a new MCU replacement on my 2013 S40:

SERVICE MCU KIT - NORTH AMERICA (1452455-00-C) $2078.00
Labor: $0
Price Adjustments: $0
No Core "return fee", They agreed they had to give it me.
Bonus Upgrade to LTE (old MCU was 3G).
 

Krazaak

Member
Jul 30, 2017
909
1,004
Charlotte, NC
The reality is that Tesla can charge whatever they want for their parts so long as the market will bear it. If there's a core charge on the quote, then that's the difference of what you pay letting them keep the part vs. exercising your right to get your old part back. I suspect Tesla is inexperienced in the whole out of warranty car repair world and never expected people to ask for their old MCU back so never considered needing a core charge. I'm not surprised that the new core charge is above and beyond past MCU replacement costs, because they were probably ignorant of the law and expected to always get the old MCU to refurbish.

I've always seen a core charged added as an extra fee and refunded upon return of the core when you buy a part separately, but usually left off a repair quote unless you've told them you want your parts back.
 
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rickrickrick

Member
Nov 29, 2015
82
64
Washington, DC
Summary of what Tesla is saying:
  • The MCU is covered under the "New Vehicle Limited Warranty" for 4 years or 50,000 miles (note: there is no specific mention of the MCU).
  • If you buy a replacement MCU then that replacement MCU is covered by the "Tesla Parts, Body & Paint Repair Limited Warranty" which specifies that the MCU is covered for a period of 4 years (note: the MCU is specifically referenced and there is no mileage component).
  • The service center is telling me that my MCU is not covered under either warranty becase I am over 50,000 miles even though I am under 4 years of ownership.
  • They have not explained why the warranty periods differ for the MCU under the two different warranties.
  • They have yet to acknowledge my statement of screen freezing and rebooting earlier during my ownership expeirence, which was within the warranty period.
  • I pre-paid for the annual service and had the services performed on time and on schedule so I asked why they never looked at the diagnostic logs for the MCU as part of the service history. I was told they didn't have the capability to do so.
  • They are also telling me that I don't have any other options and that they refuse to escalate my request outside of the service center.
  • With regard to a replacement MCU they explained that there are no longer any new MCU units available for my S60 so only remanufactured units are available.
  • The remanufactured MCU is a gen 2 unit indicated by the "-D" at the end of the part number.
Bottom line, if you *even think* that you have a developing MCU issue (reboot or freezing) then you should document with the service center and have them take a look and replace while it is in the warranty period. I don't know how to best spread the word with owners but this all seems like an avoidable ownership cost if people know to look for this.
 

Krazaak

Member
Jul 30, 2017
909
1,004
Charlotte, NC
  • The remanufactured MCU is a gen 2 unit indicated by the "-D" at the end of the part number.
My 2nd yellow MCU was replaced with part# 1098010-00-D. It is most definitely not what people refer to as MCU2. It might be the 2nd generation MCU as far as Tesla is concerned, after the older 3G based MCU, but it is not the Intel based MCU that people commonly refer to as MCU2. Ask them specifically if it is the Intel based CPU unit and if you will have access to the newer games released for cars manufactured after 3/2018 and get it in writing if they say yes.
 

aaron0k

...
Apr 1, 2013
665
607
-
  • With regard to a replacement MCU they explained that there are no longer any new MCU units available for my S60 so only remanufactured units are available.

That sucks. Though I had a feeling that would happen eventually. I'm also not holding my breath for a MCU2 retrofit.


  • I pre-paid for the annual service and had the services performed on time and on schedule so I asked why they never looked at the diagnostic logs for the MCU as part of the service history. I was told they didn't have the capability to do so.
Bottom line, if you *even think* that you have a developing MCU issue (reboot or freezing) then you should document with the service center and have them take a look and replace while it is in the warranty period.

I think a lot of people report reboots and freezing occasionally. The symptoms of my MCU failing were corrupt fonts, some modules not working (e.g. Bluetooth, 3G) and sound effects failing (turn signal). Ultimately the Black Screen of Death.

They can easily grep the logs for filesystem errors. That would probably be the best evidence of imminent failure prior to warranty expiration. Though I have a feeling they won't honor such requests.
 

rickrickrick

Member
Nov 29, 2015
82
64
Washington, DC
The symptoms of my MCU failing were corrupt fonts, some modules not working (e.g. Bluetooth, 3G) and sound effects failing (turn signal). Ultimately the Black Screen of Death.

I also had issues with my Bluetooth (I stopped trying to pair to use the car's speakerphone) and had missing sound effects with the turn signal. It's confusing at first when it happens while you are driving.
 

rickrickrick

Member
Nov 29, 2015
82
64
Washington, DC
Ask them specifically if it is the Intel based CPU unit and if you will have access to the newer games released for cars manufactured after 3/2018 and get it in writing if they say yes.

I just picked up my car and will post more detail later.

Going to teslatap.com/mcu in the car it comes up as an MCU1 unit and I see the following list of games (I don't remember seeing these but I never really looked): Chess, 2048, Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Centipede, and Super Breakout. I also now have LTE.

Let me know if there is any other additional information I am able to look for to try to figure out what MCU model was installed.
 

Krazaak

Member
Jul 30, 2017
909
1,004
Charlotte, NC
I just picked up my car and will post more detail later.

Going to teslatap.com/mcu in the car it comes up as an MCU1 unit and I see the following list of games (I don't remember seeing these but I never really looked): Chess, 2048, Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Centipede, and Super Breakout. I also now have LTE.

Let me know if there is any other additional information I am able to look for to try to figure out what MCU model was installed.
That's definitely what the community refers to as MCU1. It's important to realize that how the community refers to revisions and how Tesla refers to them may be very different. It may well be their second revision of the MCU as far as they are concerned, but the community refers to the ARM MCUs as MCU1 and the Intel MCUs as MCU2. Those are MCU1 games, MCU2 is required for Beach Buggy and likely Cuphead as well.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,538
Orlando, FL
Looks like I might have just gotten really lucky here. Over the past two or three weeks I’ve had the screen on my 2015 S60 randomly get stuck in a boot loop three times. It would just show the T logo, then a black screen, then back to the T logo over and over again. This would go on for more than 20 minutes and I could eventually get it back by holding both scroll wheels, but it would take several attempts. I had a service appointment scheduled for this and a few other minor issues.

Then last week Wednesday I lost cellular connectivity. Initially I didn’t think much of it as sometimes I drive through dead zones and I’ll lose connectivity for a short time, but after 15 or 20 minutes it still hadn’t come back, which was unusual. I decided to hold the scroll wheels to reboot the screen and see if that would help, but when I did the screen went black and stayed black. I spent some time trying to restart it with the scroll wheels, but it was completely dead. Luckily when it happened I was only about 10 minutes from the service center, so I just brought it right to them. I got notified this evening that the car is ready to be picked up. Looks like they replaced the MCU with a remanufactured one. I’m hoping this came with an LTE upgrade as well, but I guess I won’t know until I pick up the car in the morning.

But the reason I said that I got really lucky is that I have less than 1000 miles remaining on my extended warranty. It failed just barely in time.

The other odd thing that happened was that when I dropped the car off at the service center on Wednesday evening the battery was at about 40%. I happened to click on the app on Thursday morning and discovered that the battery was down to 13%. It showed that the AC was running (and apparently had been running all night) and I got an error when I tried to turn it off with the app. I called the service center to let them know and they did confirm that the AC was running and they were also unable to shut it off using any normal methods, so they wound up pulling a fuse to stop it so that it wouldn’t kill the battery before they were able to start working on it. They also charged it since it was so low.
 

Vinomenal

Member
Apr 25, 2019
15
2
22030
Just to follow up, I picked up the car and it was upgraded to LTE, so that makes me happy at least:)

The LTE was not original feature with the car? I bought a used MX june 2016 built. I am not sure if the MCU was replaced at all during previous ownership but I did get a black screen of death instance once 2 months ago. It has not happened since but I am worry. The MCU has always had LTE connection when I bought it. Does it mean it was replaced at some point and received LTE upgrade? It is definitelt MCU 1.
 

dgpcolorado

high altitude member
Apr 25, 2015
2,649
3,913
The Western Slope, Colorado
The LTE was not original feature with the car? I bought a used MX june 2016 built. I am not sure if the MCU was replaced at all during previous ownership but I did get a black screen of death instance once 2 months ago. It has not happened since but I am worry. The MCU has always had LTE connection when I bought it. Does it mean it was replaced at some point and received LTE upgrade? It is definitelt MCU 1.
Not sure when Tesla started installing LTE MCU1s in new cars but, yes, the older cars came with 3G MCUs. I lucked out when the MCU died under warranty in my 2014 car two years ago — Mobile Service didn't have a rebuilt one at hand so my car was transported 300 miles to the Service Center and I got a new LTE MCU1 installed. LTE was a big improvement over the old 3G version.
 

gjunky

Trifecta: Solar and both cars are EVs
Mar 26, 2012
1,251
408
Scottsdale, AZ
LTE was standard from somewhere in 2016 (we have an MCU1 from Jun 2016 on our X with LTE). I am seeing many of the symptoms from this thread. I notified my service center after the car at first didn't want to reboot the MCU (three times) but then eventually did. They remotely cleared my navigation history(after asking me). I am out of the base warranty but have a 4 year extended warranty. Hopefully they will just do an MCU2 replacement when it is time to replace mine. Hopefully with a radio replacement...
 

Vinomenal

Member
Apr 25, 2019
15
2
22030
LTE was standard from somewhere in 2016 (we have an MCU1 from Jun 2016 on our X with LTE). I am seeing many of the symptoms from this thread. I notified my service center after the car at first didn't want to reboot the MCU (three times) but then eventually did. They remotely cleared my navigation history(after asking me). I am out of the base warranty but have a 4 year extended warranty. Hopefully they will just do an MCU2 replacement when it is time to replace mine. Hopefully with a radio replacement...

I will be out of warranty in about 3000 miles so I am trying to fix everything haha! The MCU 2 upgrade was announced recently so if it fails, I'll just use that opportunity to drop 2.5k to upgrade...I just hope it lasts that long.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,475
4,558
Kaneohe, HI
Interesting how post # 452 Oct 2019 jumps to the next post # 453 in Mar 2020. Its as though this thread disappeared for six months. There was still the same issues, right? Hmmm...

3G to LTE. From June 2012 to spring 2015 the S's came with 3G. Starting in April '15 forward, cars came with LTE. And in June 2015 Tesla started offering a LTE upgrade for $500. There's no item or part called a 3G MCU or LTE MCU. Its simple a 3G or LTE modem - a card/module that bolts on to the motherboard in the MCU assembly. The 3G SIM is different from the LTE SIM, so Tesla can't/does not simply move the SIM to the new MCU. Techs capture the new LTE SIM IMEI and update the at&t database that allows the new SIM to work when they put the re-manufactured MCU in the car.

Tesla has on occasion sold the modem card for about $110-$120. And when the 3G SIM was turned in, they would update at&t so the new LTE SIM would work when the MCU was put back in the car. Several people lately on TMC have tried to buy the modem, but Tesla is not selling them. Best guess is that Tesla is using more and needs all they can get just putting them in REMAN MCUs. But its as good for Tesla as it is for us for Tesla to put the LTE modem in the REMAN MCUs because the carriers are trying to shut 3G down in preparation for the move to 5G. The question we should be asking is how will we get 5G when it is available? Will have have to take our cars in, pull the MCU, swap the SIM again, or swap the modem to get 5G?
 
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Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,475
4,558
Kaneohe, HI
This is TL;Do not read. It will not make you happy.

I've read every post of every MCU related thread on TMC and TM. Reading from the beginning as some of them cover years; one can see the changes and see a pattern why things today are as they are. Here's a couple of things that might put part of the MCU issue into perspective for those that are trying to understand. That means there's quite a few people that are simply angry and not interested in a why. Sorry they feel that way.

Keeping the old MCU. If you read the old posts here on TMC and TM starting back about late 2016 coming forward, you will see that when S's came out of warranty and the owner had to pay for the MCU replacement, the cost was $4,000 U.S., plus labor and tax. Since Feb '20, the price is $1300 U.S. plus labor and tax. Why was it $4,000? Well, it was new. There was no supply of re-manufactured MCU1's. They had new (not yet installed) MCU's until 1QTR 2018. Yes, those people that paid for a new one and could have asked to keep the old one. Did anyone? I saw no request on complaints in those early posts that they asked for and were denied their old MCU1. Seems no one cared to ask. But Tesla used those old ones to start building a supply to re-manufacture. And pretty soon for the people paying for out of warranty the price was $2400-$2600 U.S. because the MCU was re-manufactured.

Its bad enough having to pay $2400, but it must have been heart-breaking to pay $4,000. This thread has lots of reports/posts of people talking about paying $2400-$2600-$3,000 for a MCU1 and then wanting the old one. It looks like Tesla was letting them have them, but charging a core charge. Those folks demanding to take the old one, were not helping anyone but themselves. Because months later it delayed adding to the re-manufacture core stock and kept the cost up as it maintained the higher cost for the REMAN MCUs longer. It looks like Tesla started finding a way to do it cheaper and with a stock of old ones, since they brought the price down again in Feb '20 to $1300 plus labor and tax. Who knew?

We may not want to hear it, but Tesla just as easily could have left the price at $2400 and not dropped it in Feb '20. Maybe if less people had demanded the old one, the price could have been lowered sooner.

Yes, I agree, Tesla could bring the price down again, by refurbishing the CID/Tegra board versus swapping out the entire MCU with the CID/Tegra board inside. How much cheaper would it be if they were opening the MCU, removing the old CID/Tegra board, put the refurbished one with a new eMMC in it and buttoning it back up, to put it in the car. Oops, they also need to swap out the LTE modem. Oops, some are going to need a new touchscreen because of bubbles or goo or yellowing. nVidia is not making the CID/Tegra board any more, so this means Tesla has to refurbish old ones. So even though it may be a $25 Swissbit chip being put on there, the old one has to be de-soldered, new one soldered, tested, check, held up to the light, whatever they do. The SC's are not doing that. That takes skill and Re-work station. So the small supply of these has to go back to some place to be worked on.

We know "fixers' are charging about $500-700 for the CID/Tegra board repair, and they should because its more difficult for them to recover files than it is for Tesla to pull fresh files down from a Tesla server. But let's say Tesla charges less at $400. Then they add the LTE modem, which they sell separately for $120, but installed for $500. Then what if it needs a new screen? What's that price? $500? $800? Labor?

I've torn my dash down and removed my MCU twice now. Takes me about 1.5 hours round trip. Maybe techs can do it in 1.0 hour. How much time is charged for disassembling and re-assembling the MCU with swapped CID/Tegra board, new LTE modem, and maybe new screen? 1 hour? 2 hours? This is average time remember? So add that up, are we now at 2.5-3.0 hours at what price $175-$200 an hour? Remove and swap refurbished and new components into the original MCU; $400 + $ 120 + 3 X $175 : $525 = $ 1045. That's not counting swapping and charging for extra $500-$800 new/re-manufacture touchscreen. So, yes, it will be about $300 less per if Tesla tears down the MCU in the SC and replaces components. Maybe someday they will, not today.

In this thread people were asking for, expecting it to be available, almost demanding MCU2 as far back as 3QTR 2018 (about). It was not available. (You already know this). Tesla started making the MCU2 upgrade available in Mar '20. Its worth the $2500.00 for a number of reasons, one of which is it kicks the failing eMMC issue down the road and around the curve and over the next hill. And I knew when the eMMC/MCU was replaced on my schedule not when its a untimely headache for me. If you don't want to pay for it, that's okay with me.

Complain all you wish, but I predict that there will be no free MCU2 replacements for failed MCU1's. Not until at least sometime next year - after Tesla has offered the MCU2 upgrade to 2015 AP1, 2014-12's pre-AP cars - and in all markets. There's going to be enough demand of people standing in line to pay for it to get it. Here we are three months deep into making MCU2 available; I know of two owners that have successfully persuaded Tesla to let them jump from failed MCU1 directly to MCU2. BUT, both paid for the upgrade and avoided having to pay for MCU1 first, and both were out of warranty.

Go ahead jump on me. :)
 
Last edited:

viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,441
1,388
USA
This is TL;Do not read. It will not make you happy.

I've read every post of every MCU related thread on TMC and TM. Reading from the beginning as some of them cover years; one can see the changes and see a pattern why things today are as they are. Here's a couple of things that might put part of the MCU issue into perspective for those that are trying to understand. That means there's quite a few people that are simply angry and not interested in a why. Sorry they feel that way.

Keeping the old MCU. If you read the old posts here on TMC and TM starting back about late 2016 coming forward, you will see that when S's came out of warranty and the owner had to pay for the MCU replacement, the cost was $4,000 U.S., plus labor and tax. Since Feb '20, the price is $1300 U.S. plus labor and tax. Why was it $4,000? Well, it was new. There was no supply of re-manufactured MCU1's. They had new (not yet installed) MCU's until 1QTR 2018. Yes, those people that paid for a new one and could have asked to keep the old one. Did anyone? I saw no request on complaints in those early posts that they asked for and were denied their old MCU1. Seems no one cared to ask. But Tesla used those old ones to start building a supply to re-manufacture. And pretty soon for the people paying for out of warranty the price was $2400-$2600 U.S. because the MCU was re-manufactured.

Its bad enough having to pay $2400, but it must have been heart-breaking to pay $4,000. This thread has lots of reports/posts of people talking about paying $2400-$2600-$3,000 for a MCU1 and then wanting the old one. It looks like Tesla was letting them have them, but charging a core charge. Those folks demanding to take the old one, were not helping anyone but themselves. Because months later it delayed adding to the re-manufacture core stock and kept the cost up as it maintained the higher cost for the REMAN MCUs longer. It looks like Tesla started finding a way to do it cheaper and with a stock of old ones, since they brought the price down again in Feb '20 to $1300 plus labor and tax. Who knew?

We may not want to hear it, but Tesla just as easily could have left the price at $2400 and not dropped it in Feb '20. Maybe if less people had demanded the old one, the price could have been lowered sooner.

Yes, I agree, Tesla could bring the price down again, by refurbishing the CID/Tegra board versus swapping out the entire MCU with the CID/Tegra board inside. How much cheaper would it be if they were opening the MCU, removing the old CID/Tegra board, put the refurbished one with a new eMMC in it and buttoning it back up, to put it in the car. Oops, they also need to swap out the LTE modem. Oops, some are going to need a new touchscreen because of bubbles or goo or yellowing. nVidia is not making the CID/Tegra board any more, so this means Tesla has to refurbish old ones. So even though it may be a $25 Swissbit chip being put on there, the old one has to be de-soldered, new one soldered, tested, check, held up to the light, whatever they do. The SC's are not doing that. That takes skill and Re-work station. So the small supply of these has to go back to some place to be worked on.

We know "fixers' are charging about $500-700 for the CID/Tegra board repair, and they should because its more difficult for them to recover files than it is for Tesla to pull fresh files down from a Tesla server. But let's say Tesla charges less at $400. Then they add the LTE modem, which they sell separately for $120, but installed for $500. Then what if it needs a new screen? What's that price? $500? $800? Labor?

I've torn my dash down and removed my MCU twice now. Takes me about 1.5 hours round trip. Maybe techs can do it in 1.0 hour. How much time is charged for disassembling and re-assembling the MCU with swapped CID/Tegra board, new LTE modem, and maybe new screen? 1 hour? 2 hours? This is average time remember? So add that up, are we now at 2.5-3.0 hours at what price $175-$200 an hour? Remove and swap refurbished and new components into the original MCU; $400 + $ 120 + 3 X $175 : $525 = $ 1045. That's not counting swapping and charging for extra $500-$800 new/re-manufacture touchscreen. So, yes, it will be about $300 less per if Tesla tears down the MCU in the SC and replaces components. Maybe someday they will, not today.

In this thread people were asking for, expecting it to be available, almost demanding MCU2 as far back as 3QTR 2018 (about). It was not available. (You already know this). Tesla started making the MCU2 upgrade available in Mar '20. Its worth the $2500.00 for a number of reasons, one of which is it kicks the failing eMMC issue down the road and around the curve and over the next hill. And I knew when the eMMC/MCU was replaced on my schedule not when its a untimely headache for me. If you don't want to pay for it, that's okay with me.

Complain all you wish, but I predict that there will be no free MCU2 replacements for failed MCU1's. Not until at least sometime next year - after Tesla has offered the MCU2 upgrade to 2015 AP1, 2014-12's pre-AP cars - and in all markets. There's going to be enough demand of people standing in line to pay for it to get it. Here we are three months deep into making MCU2 available; I know of two owners that have successfully persuaded Tesla to let them jump from failed MCU1 directly to MCU2. BUT, both paid for the upgrade and avoided having to pay for MCU1 first, and both were out of warranty.

Go ahead jump on me. :)


I think after 3-4 years they will upgrade to mcu2 free. Much like the 4g upgrade. They can only repair so many mcu1 boards.
 
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