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NHTSA Investigates Failing MCUs

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,068
9,598
MI
Fortunately there are already 3 options available to us.

1. Tesla provides a replacement.

2. Tesla offers an upgrade.

3. @EV-Fixme offers a repair.

Tesla should repair for free. Maybe that will come out of this.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,068
9,598
MI
I'm guessing they just replace failed MCU1 with refurbished MCU1 that won't have the issue...

Do you mean Tesla providing a refurbished MCU1? They may have the same issue in 4-5 years. I don’t know what they do when they refurbish them nor what chip they use. The 3rd option repair I mentioned uses a better chip and should last much longer from what I understand.
 

Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,664
5,591
Logan
I'm guessing they just replace failed MCU1 with refurbished MCU1 that won't have the issue...
All MCU1s have the issue inherently. This either forces hardware changes, software fixes (Finally!), or the NHTSA decides it's not a safety issue. We will see.

Hopefully they will also reimburse anyone who went 3rd party.

It depends on how they respond but other manufacturers have had to reimburse after the fact. It is illegal for them to require first party repairs, especially when third party repairs are cheaper and more effective.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
6,718
6,241
Silicon Valley

Here is some additional information from Electrek...Tesla is under investigation by NHTSA for its MCU-touchscreen eMMC failure - Electrek

"The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is launching an investigation into Tesla’s problem with older MCU (the media unit with a large touchscreen) in older Model S vehicles. Owners of older Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles have been reporting some issues with their MCUs.

The touchscreen would become less responsive, the power-up time becomes longer, the screen would freeze and would have to be rebooted, or even total failure of the MCU unit. Some owners believe that it is a problem with the embedded Multi-Media-Card memory (eMMC) in the MCU and that it is being overwritten to the point of failure. It has been known as the “eMMC failure” problem.

Tesla introduced a new MCU in 2018 that doesn’t have the same problem, but owners of older vehicles are still experiencing the problem in having to replace the unit out of warranty, despite seeing Tesla’s mistake as the source of the problem instead of a normal issue that occurs over time.

Some of them have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) who now have launched an official investigation into the matter. The agency said that the investigation was especially looking into 63,000 Tesla Model S vehicles. They have received 11 complaints from Tesla owners regarding the issue. It could take months before we know the results of the investigation..."
 

xbox4me62

Member
Feb 8, 2017
117
145
SF bay area
The investigation was triggered by 11 complaints over a 13 month period on Model S between 2012 and 2015.

This seems really low.

Regardless, FINALLY something is being done. Hopefully they are forced to do a mandatory recall. Their customer service after purchasing the vehicle is just going from bad to worse year after year.
 

viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,428
1,377
USA
Here is some additional information from Electrek...Tesla is under investigation by NHTSA for its MCU-touchscreen eMMC failure - Electrek

"The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is launching an investigation into Tesla’s problem with older MCU (the media unit with a large touchscreen) in older Model S vehicles. Owners of older Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles have been reporting some issues with their MCUs.

The touchscreen would become less responsive, the power-up time becomes longer, the screen would freeze and would have to be rebooted, or even total failure of the MCU unit. Some owners believe that it is a problem with the embedded Multi-Media-Card memory (eMMC) in the MCU and that it is being overwritten to the point of failure. It has been known as the “eMMC failure” problem.

Tesla introduced a new MCU in 2018 that doesn’t have the same problem, but owners of older vehicles are still experiencing the problem in having to replace the unit out of warranty, despite seeing Tesla’s mistake as the source of the problem instead of a normal issue that occurs over time.

Some of them have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) who now have launched an official investigation into the matter. The agency said that the investigation was especially looking into 63,000 Tesla Model S vehicles. They have received 11 complaints from Tesla owners regarding the issue. It could take months before we know the results of the investigation..."

I imagine these things take a long time. Would be a good show of faith if Tesla got out ahead of this and offered to replace faulty MCU1 that die due to emmc failure. People arguing that this is part of owning a a car are wrong. This was a built in defect that after Tesla was made aware of they tried to fix via software. But the damage was already done
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,567
3,738
Northern Virginia, USA
I imagine these things take a long time. Would be a good show of faith if Tesla got out ahead of this and offered to replace faulty MCU1 that die due to emmc failure. People arguing that this is part of owning a a car are wrong. This was a built in defect that after Tesla was made aware of they tried to fix via software. But the damage was already done
First thing I thought on reading about this today was 'why not include Model X's' and why not every model year up to the MCU 2's? Nothing was ever done to upgrade the MCU 1's, so, why do an incomplete investigation/analysis? Or have I missed something?
 
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viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,428
1,377
USA
First thing I thought on reading about this today was 'why not include Model X's' and why not every model year up to the MCU 2's? Nothing was ever done to upgrade the MCU 1's, so, why do an incomplete investigation/analysis? Or have I missed something?

It appears the 11 reports of incidents only go up to 2015. Even though its well known everyone up to MCU2 has this issue. I supposed more people to file complaints with NHTSA. I most likely will. I think Tesla is just going to "wipe the cache" on my MCU. Reboot it and say its good to go.
 

dgpcolorado

high altitude member
Apr 25, 2015
2,589
3,685
The Western Slope, Colorado
All MCU1s have the issue inherently. This either forces hardware changes, software fixes (Finally!), or the NHTSA decides it's not a safety issue. We will see.

It depends on how they respond but other manufacturers have had to reimburse after the fact. It is illegal for them to require first party repairs, especially when third party repairs are cheaper and more effective.
MCU1 failure is an expensive nuisance to fix, to be sure, but I think it is a stretch to call it a safety issue, even with climate control and window defogging being unavailable.

I don't expect any help from NHTSA.
 

viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,428
1,377
USA
Come on, we all know the number is far greater than 11 and extends all the way until 2018 when MCU1 was discontinued.

Everyone who's had to replace their MCU1 should file a complaint with NHTSA now.


i have a 2017 with 49k miles. See below video. In the past month my car now requires a reboot during every drive, data and streaming stops. I plan to file a complaint. My car is going for service next month to fix the AC and I've let Tesla know about my concerns. But I doubt they would replace the MCU unless it is completely gone

 

viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,428
1,377
USA
MCU1 failure is an expensive nuisance to fix, to be sure, but I think it is a stretch to call it a safety issue, even with climate control and window defogging being unavailable.

I don't expect any help from NHTSA.


Someone on reddit said older cars lose turn signals when the MCU goes. Not sure if thats true. I know mine loses sound, not sure about the lights
 

HHHH

Member
Jun 11, 2013
732
23
Henderson, NV
Mine actually went out last weekend and luckily Tesla reset it without replacing it, but I'm told this may be an indication it will need to be replaced. It could be part of the reason for me to replace my aging 2013 P85+
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,810
35,214
Oregon
First thing I thought on reading about this today was 'why not include Model X's' and why not every model year up to the MCU 2's? Nothing was ever done to upgrade the MCU 1's, so, why do an incomplete investigation/analysis? Or have I missed something?

The actual text from NHTSA: 2014 TESLA MODEL S:

The display control unit subassembly of the subject MCU is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with an integrated 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory device. EMMC NAND flash devices have a finite lifespan based upon the number of program/erase (P/E) cycles. The subject MCU allegedly fails prematurely due to memory wear-out of the eMMC NAND flash. Tesla used the same MCU with the Tegra 3 processor in approximately 159 thousand 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles built by Tesla through early-2018.

So they know it impacts the Model X as well. (And goes to early 2018.)
 

Yinn

Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
2,100
1,890
Behind you
It appears the 11 reports of incidents only go up to 2015. Even though its well known everyone up to MCU2 has this issue. I supposed more people to file complaints with NHTSA. I most likely will. I think Tesla is just going to "wipe the cache" on my MCU. Reboot it and say its good to go.

That’s exactly what I suggested above. NHTSA might not know the specifics of MCU1. So it’s possible they just took it up until the refresh. Some ‘16+ owners are going to hav to complain (with evidence of failure) for it to be expanded most likely.
 

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