The potentially faulty chips in question have been used in about 159,000 Tesla cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
- The US highway safety administration is investigating some Tesla Model S vehicles that could have faulty memory chips.
- When the components wear out, the main media control center for the car can fail, NHTSA said.
- Tesla did not respond to a request for comment about the new investigation.
- There have been no accidents due to the alleged failures, NHTSA said.
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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday that it was investigating possible touchscreen failures in approximately 63,000 Tesla Model S vehicles.
According to the agency, there have been 11 complaints in recent months about the media control unit, or MCU, in Tesla Model S vehicles failing. Because of memory wear-out, the system may take longer to boot, disconnect from cell signal, or lose navigational functions, it said.
"Failure of the touchscreen results in loss of rear camera image display when reverse gear is selected, resulting in reduced rear visibility when backing," NHTSA said.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There have been no accidents or injuries caused by the alleged memory failures, NHTSA said. After assessing the "scope, frequency, and safety consequences" of the alleged defects, the agency could issue a recall notice.
The same processor in question has been used in 159,000 Tesla vehicles in total, NHTSA said, including Model S and X cars built between 2012 and 2018. That number is about half of the total vehicles sold by Tesla in 2019.