Once again, Tesla is recalling thousands of its vehicles due to a defect related to its central touchscreen unit.

This recall affects nearly 130,000 vehicles from the 2021 and 2022 Model S and Model X lines, as well as 2022 Model 3 and Model Y lines. It was issued Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The glitch begins whenever vehicles “supercharge” or fast-charge, allowing vehicles to be fully charged within a half-hour. When the vehicle fast-charges, it can cause the CPU, or the processor, in the vehicle to overheat — which results in the vehicle’s touchscreen freezing or experiencing delays.

Because so many key functions of these vehicles — including turn signals, backup cameras and, in some cases, shifting gears entirely — are controlled using the touchscreen, this glitch could result in a loss of control while driving.   

“A lagging or restarting CPU may prevent the center screen from displaying the rearview camera image, gear selection, windshield visibility control settings, and warning lights, increasing the risk of a crash,” said the NHTSA in a letter to Tesla on Monday.  

Tesla first caught wind of this, according to an internal filing, during “routine” testing of the Model 3 and Y “vehicle platform CPU” in late 2021. The CPU began throttling due to “thermal protections being engaged.” A couple of weeks later, a Model S’s CPU was replaced because its touchscreen display rebooted due to overheating — seemingly the first time Tesla saw a glitched center screen in repairs.

Between January 2022, when the glitch was first identified internally, and May 2022, Tesla received 59 warranty claims and 59 field reports that are potentially connected to this defect. 

The company said that there are no known crashes, injuries or deaths connected to this touchscreen glitch.

But this is the second time in two years that the company has had to issue mass recalls related to the touchscreen, and yet another nick on the brand’s safety reputation.

In 2021, the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation found that certain 2012 to 2018 Model S vehicles and 2016 to 2018 Model X vehicles were prone to having failed touchscreens when the car’s “storage capacity is reached.” It requested that approximately 158,000 vehicles be recalled, which the company eventually agreed to after first refusing.

This is in addition to the bevy of recalls within the past six months, affecting windshield defrosting, air bag deployment and its controversial “boombox” feature, which violated federal safety regulations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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