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Safety Recall? Backup Camera Randomly Stop Working


Sep 9, 2017
Elk Grove, Republic of California
This is so crazy. Once in a while, my M3 backup camera stops working for no reason. The screen is totally black with white lines. I tried everything from resetting, rebooting, turning off sentry, unplugging all USB plugs, and etc... This could go on for a few hours to a few days. It happened at least 15-20 times now. It’s a totally random—a problem when you have to reverse into a supercharging station or busy Costco parking lot. I have to reverse the car in an old school way. I actually have to turn my head and look back with my right arm over the passenger seat. I hope there is no small kid or puppy behind me. This should be a safety recall IMHO. We don’t want to run over any Costco shoppers.

Since I am out of warranty and nothing works, I came up with this solution. It usually works. If I lose the backup camera, I park the car and turn it off. First, I pray to Tesla god for a few minutes and hope that in a few hours, back up camera would start working. I also talk to my car’s AI. Apologies for anything that I have done to offend her. Elon warned us about AI, and I am already experiencing it. She is so moody.


Jun 2, 2017
Fresno, CA
You can get out and back it in/out using dumb summon, which is less likely to cause injury to yourself (or others, if you care) than twisting your back, neck, and shoulders into such an unsafe position.
  • Funny
Reactions: silentsnow31802


Jul 9, 2018
Rancho Cucamonga
When did this started to happen? If you have the older version of the backup cam, maybe might as well spend the money and get the revised camera for better picture quality? If it's the same as the side cameras, it should be a plug and play swap.


Sep 9, 2017
Elk Grove, Republic of California
I cannot remember when this started. Maybe 6 - 8 months ago. I believe I am not the only one who is experiencing this. Even some MYs are having this issue. It is now happening more frequently.
Yeah. I may take it in for a service and pay for a new cam or something.
I really like this car except this. :(


Feb 6, 2017
People should stop exaggerating so much, when did missing a backup camera become a safety issue? Also turning around 180 degrees in the seat for backing up looks just stupid, every driving school teaches their students to use the 3 mirrors for backing up for a reason.

Anyway, Tesla will replace the camera. I had an issue just like that, it was caused by water entering the camera electronics. Sometimes it would dry up and camera worked.


Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
SF Bay Area, CA
People should stop exaggerating so much, when did missing a backup camera become a safety issue?
They became mandated in the US a few years ago and many many recalls have been issued regarding backup cameras. For vehicles made before the US mandate, such a failure probably wouldn't have met the bar for a recall since they were not required safety features.

A quick Google search for recall backup camera comes up with these:
Fiat Chrysler is recalling 365,000 vehicles for backup camera issue
Honda recalls 608,000 vehicles over failures of backup camera, instruments
Nissan Recall 2019: Backup camera prompts vehicle recall
BMW Launches Massive Recall Due to Backup Camera Glitch
Toyota Recalls Vehicles for Back-Up Camera Malfunction

Also see
on how 62 kids can fit behind a (battering ram of death class) SUV and not be visible thru the rear window.
  • Informative
Reactions: Puddles


Sep 9, 2017
Elk Grove, Republic of California
Interestingly, when I played launch viewer, rear cam box is no longer there. Just Front, Left, and Right. But older footages do show rear cam box. So this could be a software glitch rather than hardware.
I probably set up a SC visit and get this fixed.


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
Palmdale, CA
The car also has both a rear view mirror, and drivers/passenger side mirrors, so you’re not solely dependent on the back up camera. I dare say people have been using these devices for quite a long time in order to back up, long before the back up camera first appeared in a car.

Yep, they have. And I used to choose cars based on their rear visibility back before backup cams were a thing. The Model 3 would not have made the cut. The rear visibility is terrible for a short person and the mirrors aren't large enough to compensate fully.

When I was having backup cam blackouts back when it was a common software bug, it was very frustrating and made me realize I wouldn't have bought the 3 at all without one.

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