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Tesla recalls 321,000 vehicles, 19th recall of the year

A software glitch in some Model Y and Model 3 vehicles can cause the taillights to go off intermittently, increasing the risk of a collision.
Credit: AP
FILE - A Tesla Supercharger station in Buford, Ga., is pictured on April 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

WASHINGTON — Tesla is recalling more than 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. because a software glitch can make taillights go off intermittently, increasing the risk of a collision.

Tesla said in documents posted Saturday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the glitch may affect one or both taillights on certain Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Brake lamps, backup lamps and turn signal lamps are not affected by the software problem, the company said.

The automaker said it is releasing an online software update that will fix the problem.

The recall covers certain 2020 to 2023 Model Y SUVs and 2023 Model 3 sedans. That amounts to potentially 321,628 vehicles.

Tesla became aware of the problem last month after receiving complaints, primarily from customers outside the U.S., that their vehicle taillamps were not illuminating. The company completed an investigation into the problem earlier this month.


Owners will be notified by letter starting Jan. 14. The company says in documents that vehicles in production and those set for delivery got the update starting Nov. 6.

As of Nov. 14, Tesla had received three warranty claims due to the problem, but was not aware of any related crashes or injuries related to the glitch, according to the documents.

This is the 19th recall issued by the electric vehicle maker this year and comes just days after the company recalled 30,000 Model X SUVs because of possible airbag issues. 

Other issues covered by recalls this year included windows that pinched people's fingers as they were rolled up, touch screen failure, faulty seatbelt chimes and potential loss of power steering.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla recalls account for only 5% of all recalls issued by automakers this year, but the number of Tesla vehicles affected by a recall is second only to Ford.

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