Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Tesla has recalled 135,000 Model S cars and a Model X SUV due to a malfunction in the large central touch screens that may cause them to fail.
Tesla had previously objected to pleas to issue summons from regulators, claiming the problem was not a safety issue.
The recall applies to some “Model S” cars from 2012 until 2018 and “Model X” cars from 2016 to 2018.
Under the recall, which will begin on March 30, Tesla must notify car owners of failure-prone touchscreens and replace the computer chip that controls the screen.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers this a safety issue because without a functioning central screen, drivers lose the back-up camera screen and controls for the defroster and defogger on the front.
In its correspondence with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approving the summons, Tesla indicated that it was not aware of any incidents related to the problem and said the vehicles could still be operated safely without the screen.
But in its official letter to Tesla to demand the summons, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration downplayed Tesla’s arguments.
Until now, Tesla has been charging customers to repair or replace screens, but the car manufacturer is supposed to bear the costs of official recall repairs. In its letter to management, Tesla said that it would carry out recall repairs “free of charge and would offer a discount on the updated display devices.”
Tesla has also been required to report regularly to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its progress in repairing all 135,000 touch screens.
It is reported that car manufacturers face fines for not repairing recalled vehicles quickly enough.