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Tesla recalls nearly half a million cars over safety issues

Tesla is recalling more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address rearview camera and trunk issues that increase the risk of crashing, the U.S. road safety regulator said.

Tesla shares were down 1.1% in premarket trading on Thursday (December 30).

The U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer is recalling 356,309 2017-2020 Model 3 vehicles to address rearview camera issues and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to front hood problems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

The total number of recalled vehicles is close to the half a million vehicles Tesla delivered last year. Tesla could not be reached for comment.

For Model 3 sedans, “the rearview camera cable harness may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk lid, preventing the rearview camera image from displaying,” the NHTSA said.

For Model S vehicles, front hood latch problems may lead a trunk to open “without warning and obstruct the driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash,” Tesla said.

Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issues with its Model 3 and Model S cars, the NHTSA said.

Tesla is being investigated by the NHTSA over other issues. The NHTSA had opened a probe on 580,000 Tesla vehicles over the automaker’s decision to allow games to be played on car screens while they are in motion.

Tesla has subsequently agreed to stop allowing video games to be played on vehicle screens while its cars are moving, according to the NHTSA.

In August, the NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into Tesla Inc’s driver assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.

Under pressure from NHTSA, Tesla in February agreed to recall 135,000 vehicles with touch-screen displays that could fail and raise the risk of a crash.

(Production: Deborah Gembara)

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