Tesla will refund owners who paid to fix main computers out of pocket

first_img– Advertisement – Tesla on Monday notified owners of older Model S and Model X electric vehicles that the company will refund them for repairs if they previously had to pay out-of-pocket to fix a problem in their main computers.The problem manifested as a blank touchscreen or other glitches in the system and was related to memory device failures in the computer that stores data from the vehicle.In customer emails obtained by CNBC, Tesla said it will repair the Model S and Model X cars for owners who are currently experiencing those issues, under an expanded warranty with some conditions.- Advertisement – The warranty expansion and offer to refund some owners may help Tesla avoid a mandatory recall, and a settlement or drawn out court battles.Tesla did not reply to a request for more information.How a Tesla ‘MCU’ worksIn a Tesla electric car, the main computer, also known as an “MCU,” powers the touchscreen where drivers can view and control their entertainment, navigation, air conditioning and other vehicle features. The main computer contains a number of processors, memory devices, GPS and other technical components.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img A view of the dashboard in a Tesla Model S car.Getty Images The memory devices in some Tesla MCUs have a limited “write cycle,” which means they won’t work well, or at all, after they hit a certain number of program or erase cycles.For years, Tesla owners occasionally complained in online forums of blackouts befalling their main computers, sometimes in the midst of a drive, which rendered their cars basically useless. It is not safe, for example, to operate a Tesla if the driver is unable to defrost and run the heat in icy weather. Spontaneous main computer failures could also disable safety features like the backup cam, which is meant to help drivers spot pedestrians or obstacles before backing out of a spot.Tesla will perform the repair on affected cars’ computers under the expanded warranty only if the owner has not yet exceeded 100,000 miles or 8 years of ownership. Tesla will not replace the computer’s memory device for owners who are approaching the end of a warranty period and who want to make a fix proactively.Proposed class actionIn expanding its warranty and agreeing to refund some of the customers who paid for a new MCU or to repair their MCU’s memory device out of pocket, Tesla may prevent a proposed class action lawsuit from advancing. The complaint on behalf of Tesla customers was filed on May 13, 2020 in California. It alleged that Tesla had violated state and federal laws concerning fair marketing and sales practices, consumer safety and vehicle warranties.In June this year, as Reuters previously reported, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into problems with the MCU in some of Tesla’s older Model S and Model X vehicles. That probe covered vehicles made by Tesla from 2012 to 2015. The investigation was prompted by around a dozen consumer complaints submitted to the vehicle safety regulators.Tesla has reportedly used at least some of the same technical components in 159,000 vehicles including Model S sedans built from 2012 to 2018, and Model X SUV’s built from 2016 to March 2018.In 2018, Tesla shifted away from its MCU-1 system, which used Nvidia Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 processors with 4GB or 8GB eMMC NAND flash memory devices made by SK Hynix. This system is known to have memory device problems.It later began to install a newer MCU-2 system in Model S and Model X vehicles, which included an Intel Atom processor with Micron 64Gb storage chips.Tesla notified people who own or previously owned potentially effected vehicles by e-mail. Multiple customers shared the company’s communication with CNBC.Here’s what Tesla wrote:“Our records show that you own or previously owned a Tesla Model S/X that was built before March 2018. It may be eligible for Tesla’s Warranty Adjustment Program covering malfunction of a memory chip (embedded MultiMediaCard). This malfunction may result in a blank or intermittently blank touchscreen but will not impact the ability to drive your car.Tesla is providing eligible owners who experience a malfunction no-cost repairs to this part at any Tesla Service Center for 8 years/100k miles from initial delivery date. If you do not experience a malfunction, there’s no need to take action.If you have already paid for repairs that meet the conditions of the program, you may be eligible for reimbursement. Tesla will send reimbursement details and eligibility by February 2021.To learn more about the program and its terms and conditions, please click the link below.”last_img read more

Panel urges HHS to prepare for H1N1 vaccine safety concerns

first_imgAug 24, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – An advisory committee today called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be ready to respond quickly to safety concerns that may emerge during this fall’s novel H1N1 influenza vaccination campaign.The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) unanimously passed a recommendation that HHS “develop, and where possible test in advance, a strong and organized response to scientific and pubic concerns about vaccine safety that may emerge during the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign.””The challenge will be to communicate effectively and to differentiate rapidly between adverse events that may be causally related to the vaccine and those which would be expected by chance alone,” states the recommendation.The 17-member committee said HHS could prepare in two specific ways:Assembling information on background rates in the general population of anticipated adverse events following immunization. An HHS official at the meeting said such events might include, for example, heart attacks and shortness of breath.Organizing drills or practice scenarios for how the government will respond to concerns about adverse events temporally—but not necessarily causally—related to H1N1, including identifying data resources and strategies for communications messagesThe recommendations are specifically intended for Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, to whom the committee reports.The recommendation comes as clinical trials of H1N1 vaccines are just getting under way. HHS expects to launch the vaccination campaign in mid October, when only preliminary trial results will be available.Planners are mindful of the 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign, which reached more than 40 million people but was associated with an increase in cases of Guillian-Barre syndrome, a temporary paralytic condition. Officials say vaccine safety and purifications steps are much more advanced today than at that time.The NVAC also approved a separate recommendation today that HHS develop a detailed overall plan for communicating about the H1N1 vaccination program. The group urged HHS to develop a comprehensive plan for achieving at least the following aims:Delineating the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic H1N1 fluReaching out to healthcare providers who do not usually supply vaccination services, such as obstetricians/gynecologists and internistsIdentifying high-risk groups and groups that are targeted for both seasonal flu and pandemic flu immunization, and explaining why these groups may differDiscussing and responding to emerging news and events, such as vaccine supply and vaccine safety concernsThe two recommendations were passed the same day the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology called on the Obama administration to speed the development of strategies to communicate public health messages to help reduce the impact of the pandemic, among other steps. (See related CIDRAP News story.)At today’s NVAC meeting, Jenny Backus, HHS assistant secretary for public affairs, outlined steps the agency is currently taking to communicate with the public about preparing for both seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 virus.Backus said HHS pushed hygiene steps such as hand-washing and cough etiquette during the spring and renewed that emphasis starting in July. From now into mid September the agency will be spreading the word about the importance of getting a seasonal flu shot. The third phase will be to urge target groups to get their H1N1 immunization.”That would begin probably a week or two before we get the big bulk of vaccine out the door,” she said. “I’m projecting starting it about the end of September. We need a little education period; we can’t just drop vaccine into the states and expect people to get the shot.”Noting that the target groups for seasonal and H1N1 immunizations don’t entirely match up, she said, “We definitely have our work cut out for us.”Among other things, HHS has lined up 44 Congress members of both parties to tape public service announcements about flu immunization, Backus reported. They will be posted on the HHS’s flu.gov Web site and used in the lawmakers’ districts.See also:Aug 24 NVAC meeting agendahttp://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/meetings/pastmeetings/2009/agenda20090824.htmlNVAC home pagehttp://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/index.htmllast_img read more