99% of Tesla Vehicle “recalls” Since January 2022 Were Simple Bug Fixes via Software Update

99% of Tesla Vehicle “recalls” Since January 2022 Were Simple Bug Fixes via Software Update

Image: Tesla

99% of the so-called “recalls” of Tesla vehicles since January 2022 are simple bug fixes that are made using a software update. At the same time, other manufacturers have had to physically fix millions of cars in order to address the real defects they have.

No matter how badly Tesla's competitors and haters want to tarnish the company's name, the fact remains that its cars are the least likely to be recalled for actual repairs due to problems. The industry, relevant authorities, and media are irresponsibly misleading consumers about Tesla vehicle recalls, substituting the term, and erroneously calling software updates in manufacturer's vehicles, not the correct term.

The most important thing for the consumer to know is that a recall is a free fix to a safety-related physical defect in a car. In fact, this is related to any physical defect in the car, from engine malfunctions to loose parts. At the same time, it is worth considering that bugs in software cannot be called a recall. For example, our smartphones are constantly updated by companies to fix bugs in their software, yet no one ever calls it a recall.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, Tesla had to fix 4,132,303 vehicles in the US from January 2022. Keep in mind that this number includes the actual number of what they call “recalls,” not the actual number of vehicles affected. In other words, the same vehicle could be counted as “recalled” several times during different software updates. The information shows that 99% of all these cars have just received a software update, which usually takes about 30 minutes and owners can even install it in their own garage. Only 1% of this number, which corresponds to 41,323 units, had to be repaired directly at the service center and concerned a physical defect of the car.

Of all manufacturers, only a few have fixed bugs in their cars through software updates. These include Ford, Nissan, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz, while Fiat-Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and BMW did not have software fixes. Now, let us take a closer look at the numbers to understand the real state of affairs.

For comparison, since January 2022, General Motors has been forced to recall 3,415,313 vehicles in the US. Of those, 32% were fixed by a software update, meaning 2,322,412 needed an actual recall due to physical defects. Mercedes-Benz recalled 1,417,652 vehicles, yet 17% of them received a simple software update, meaning 1,176,651 units were actually recalled. Nissan recalled 2,037,432 vehicles, but 2% of them had simple bugs that were fixed with a software update, which means that 1,996,683 vehicles had physical defects. Ford recalled 9,141,131 units, but only 1% received a software update, so, 9,049,719 vehicles had real defects that had to be repaired in service centers.

Now that we have data that actually reflects vehicle recalls in the US, let us see what that looks like. So, since January 2022, manufacturers have recalled the following number of vehicles due to a safety-related physical defect:

  1. Ford: 9,049,719 vehicles, 72 recalls
  2. Fiat-Chrysler/Stellantis: 3,338,259 vehicles, 33 recalls
  3. General Motors: 2,322,412 vehicles, 34 recalls.
  4. Nissan: 1,996,683 vehicles, 16 recalls.
  5. Kia: 1,490,939 vehicles, 26 recalls
  6. Hyundai: 1,468,531 vehicles, 24 recalls
  7. Mercedes-Benz: 1,176,651 vehicles, 35 recalls
  8. Volkswagen: 1,100,114 vehicles, 47 recalls
  9. BMW: 1,038,420 vehicles, 26 recalls
  10. Tesla: 41,323 vehicles, 21 recalls

The situation is very clear. While other automakers have recalled millions of their vehicles, Tesla has only recalled 41,323 units. So, do not be fooled by misleading terminology, used by interested parties.

© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts; follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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