Some of Tesla’s older touchscreens are blinking out.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 11 complaints in the past year about the touchscreen in Tesla Model S cars from 2012 to 2015. In response, the NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation to see if there is a safety problem.
In all 11 cases, the touchscreen died. That is where video from the rearview camera is displayed, meaning drivers couldn’t see what was behind them.
Climate control and recharging are also affected when the screen dies, but braking, steering, and other driving systems are luckily spared. The Model S has a separate screen in front of the steering wheel to display driving information. That’s different from the newer Model 3 sedan, which displays everything on the center console touchscreen.
No deaths or injuries due to the Model S malfunction have been reported. But the problem could affect up to 63,000 cars.
Tesla did not respond to request for comment.
In another blow to Tesla’s reputation, the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study came out Wednesday and included Tesla in its rankings for the first time. Well, sort of.
The study looks at reported problems for new vehicles from most carmakers. Tesla would only give access to survey owners from 35 states, so its score was based on incomplete data. It ranked very last.