The NHTSA challenged Tesla's unconventional features yet again for interfering with federal vehicle safety standards. The agency on Tuesday found the pedestrian warning system mandated on all hybrid and electric vehicles to be noncompliant on Tesla models equipped with the Boombox function.
Boombox enables Tesla owners to broadcast sound outside of the car through built-in external speakers that Tesla first launched late in 2019. It's intended for tailgating or other get-down scenarios when the vehicles are parked. The NHTSA found that the external speaker can play when the vehicles are in motion, which can obscure the pedestrian warning system. Evidently, sounds emanating from the Boombox, whether it be Dua Lipa or the radar sensing sounds of a hovercraft, may not be a sufficient enough warning.
"While Boombox can enhance the conspicuity of the vehicle to pedestrians, a vehicle that uses Boombox when in Drive, Neutral or Reverse, including if Summon or Smart Summon is in use, may cause the PWS to be noncompliant...which could increase the risk of a collision," the agency said in its safety recall report.
The recall encompasses all 594,717 models produced since 2020. It includes the 2020-2022 Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles with Summon or Smart Summon features made before March 31, 2022. It also includes certain 2017-2022 Model 3 vehicles with a retrofitted pedestrian warning system. An over-the-air update will fix the issue, and disable Boombox from playing when the vehicles are in Drive, Neutral, or Reverse.
This recall supersedes a similar recall from February of this year, identified as 22V-063; the current, slightly larger recall is 22V-235.
This is at least the fourth widespread recall of Tesla models this year, and the electric automaker is being investigated by the NHTSA for sudden braking complaints that pose more of a danger.
Tesla is aware of no injuries or crashes from Boombox in motion. Owners can expect notification letters by mail as early as June 6, 2022. Owners can contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752.