A recall is a drawback for any carmaker, prompting critical media coverage, damaging its image among consumers and delaying its ability to focus on other aspects of running and growing the business.
For some car manufacturers, the solution is usually simply to update the software remotely or over-the-air. This way, owners of affected vehicles don't need to return them to dealerships or other shops for repair.
Tesla (TSLA) , the electric vehicle maker, has just announced a recall of nearly 1.1 million vehicles because the power windows may close too fast and could pinch a driver or passengers.
"The window automatic reversal system may not react correctly after detecting an obstruction," the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a filing dated Sept. 19.
"As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 118, 'Power-Operated Window Systems.'"
"A closing window may exert excessive force by pinching a driver or passenger before retracting, increasing the risk of injury," NHTSA added.
Just a Software Update Is Needed
The solution at Tesla is simply a software update: "Tesla will perform an over-the-air software update of the automatic window reversal system, free of charge," the federal Agency said.
"Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Nov. 15, 2022." Owners may also contact Tesla customer service at +1 877-798-3752.
The four models Tesla currently markets are affected:
Chief Executive Elon Musk immediately commented on the coverage of the matter. He said that the use of the word "recall" was outdated since in this case a small software update makes the problem disappear.
"The terminology is outdated & inaccurate. This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries," the billionaire said.
The recall is the second major one Tesla issued in 2022.
In early February the automaker recalled 817,000 vehicles because the seat belt warning might not work properly in some cases. Here, too, the problem was solved with an over-the-air software update.