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Tesla Recalls 135,000 Vehicles to Replace Touch-Screen Hardware

Tesla, responding to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration call, will recall 135,000 vehicles to replace the touch-screen hardware.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report will recall 135,000 Model S luxury sedans and Model X sport-utility vehicles because of touch-screen failures, it said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The letter came responded to NHTSA’s letter to Tesla last month asking for a recall because some touch screens can fail when a memory chip exceeds its storage capability. 

That in turn can disrupt the turn signals, driver assistance and defrost mechanism.

The affected vehicles are Model S cars built from 2012 to 2018 and Model X vehicles built from 2016 to 2018. Tesla said it would replace the touch-screen hardware

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NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation "has tentatively concluded that the failure of the media control unit constitutes a defect related to motor vehicle safety,” the agency said in its letter.

“Accordingly, ODI requests that Tesla initiate a recall to notify all owners, purchasers, and dealers of the subject vehicles of this safety defect and provide a remedy.”

Tesla shares recently traded at $845, up 0.6%. They have nearly tripled (up 193%) in the six months through Monday, as investors have gone nuts for electric-car stocks.

Morningstar analyst David Whiston is more circumspect, putting Tesla’s fair value at $306. 

“Tesla has a chance to be the dominant electric vehicle firm long term and is a leading autonomous vehicle player as well as a vertically integrated sustainable energy company with energy generation and storage products, but we do not see it having mass-market volume this decade,” he wrote in a December commentary.