Tesla Model S Touchscreen Investigated for Malfunctions

The U.S. traffic-safety agency is investigating Tesla Model S touchscreens after receiving reports that some of them are malfunctioning.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report shares were gently lower after the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration said that it opened a preliminary inquiry into reports of problems with the touchscreens on Model S cars. 

The NHTSA opened its probe after it received 11 reports that media control unit failures in the console led to loss of use of the screens. 

The agency's evaluation covers 63,000 model year 2012-2015 vehicles. Complaints said that the media control unit fails prematurely due to the memory wearing out, Reuters reported. 

Tesla used the same console unit in 159,000 model year 2012-2018 Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles the company built through early 2018, according to Nhtsa. 

Tesla shares at last check were down 0.6% to $995.84. 

Earlier this year, the agency said it was starting an investigation into consumer complaints about sudden, unintended acceleration in Tesla vehicles. 

Tesla said that a short seller had filed the petition with Nhtsa. CNBC reported that short seller Brian Sparks did in fact file the petition with the agency. 

In May, Tesla issued its vehicle safety report for the first quarter of 2020, showing that driver safety in accidents in which both autopilot and vehicle safety features were engaged increased while the safety of drivers in accidents when neither feature was engaged saw a decrease in driver safety. 

Tesla shares fell back below the $1,000 mark about two weeks after it crossed that threshold for the first time in its history. 

New Tesla registrations in May in California fell 16% from a year earlier to 6,260 vehicles, research firm Dominion Enterprise reported after the company's weeks-long production shutdown at its main production facility in Fremont, Calif.