Another Tesla Recall: Goodbye Tesla Boombox?

February 10, 2022
2022 Tesla Model Y
2022 Tesla Model Y

The word “recall” sure is thrown around loosely these days. By now, you likely know that Tesla fixes the vast majority of recalls with an over-the-air software update. In the tenth recall in just four months, Tesla is addressing a pedestrian safety concern brought up by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

During the 2020 holiday season, Tesla sent a gift of sorts to all of their customers. The cars received an update that turned the external speakers into a boombox. The Tesla Boombox can play a number of customizable sounds (music, jokes, fart noises…) out of the same speakers that are meant to alert pedestrians of the approaching, silent electric car. It’s the customizable feature that seems to be at the center of this recall. Under certain circumstances, the Boombox can disrupt the federally-mandated pedestrian warning risk sounds. 

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In typical Tesla fashion, the pioneering automaker will push an over-the-air update to all of the affected cars. Tesla cars just need a WiFi connection to receive these frequent updates. Some OTA updates even increase performance or battery life. 

Check out Tesla’s official response to the NHTSA investigation here. It’s interesting to observe the automaker interacting with the federal agency that is always on their case. Here’s how simple the Tesla Boombox recall remedy is:

“Tesla will perform an over-the-air (OTA) software update that will disable the Boombox functionality when the vehicle is in Drive, Neutral and Reverse modes, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 5, 2022.”

Tesla Boombox will only work in Park mode it seems. Perhaps that was common sense all along? Tesla’s engineers typically work quickly to send such urgent recall fixes over-the-air. While the notice says that owners will receive notices by mail in April, it’s very likely that the remedy will update cars much sooner. 

The Tesla Advantage

2022 Tesla Lineup
The 2022 Tesla Lineup

Lots of people aren’t fans of Tesla for one reason or another. However the EV pioneer does have an undeniable advantage when it comes to updating their vehicles. With well over 2 million Tesla vehicles on the road today, OTA updates are a key selling point for car buyers in the electric vehicle market. Other automakers are rushing to implement the capability in their future models, as seen by recent announcements from GM, Ford and literally every EV startup today. 

We recently took a deep dive into over-the-air updates, and shared automaker plans for adding the feature to their lineups. Learn more about OTA update capabilities.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Does the Tesla Boombox recall make sense? Would you buy a Tesla? Does OTA update capability factor into your decision?


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