Tesla voluntarily recalled 578,607 electric vehicles in February due to the controversial Boombox feature. The feature might mask federally mandated Pedestrian Warning System noises, prompting the safety campaign, which covered all four of the automaker’s current car lines. An over-the-air software update at the time disabled the feature in drive, neutral, and reverse, but it appears that wasn’t enough, as a fresh, somewhat bigger recall of 594,717 vehicles was issued on Thursday.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest notification and supporting documentation, the recall affects the Summon or Smart Summon capabilities on 2020-2022 Model S, Model X, and Model Y cars, as well as some 2017-2022 Model 3 EVs.
The novelty function, which allows passengers to utilize an external speaker to make announcements or play noises directed at pedestrians and other motorists, can drown out the EVs’ sound characteristics meant to notify pedestrians of their position. Even while the car was in remote-operation Summon mode, this feature was evidently still possible, notwithstanding federal laws. Affected vehicles will get a free OTA software update to fix the problem, which they should have already received.
Tesla has not received any reports of collisions, injuries, or fatalities as a result of this feature. Tesla owners who are concerned should contact customer support at 877-798-3752 for further information.
The proliferation of OTA update patches for such issues implies that the federal government should provide new, more precise nomenclature for these sorts of virtual, software-based “recalls” — at least in circumstances when there is no need to service a vehicle in person and no actual mechanical repairs are necessary.
Tesla did not react to Roadshow’s request for comment on this matter right away. The carmaker no longer has a public relations department, which would normally handle such inquiries.