The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a second recall related to Tesla's "Boombox" feature. The feature basically allows owners to play sounds over an external speaker so that people outside the car will hear them.
The latest Tesla Boombox recall impacts almost 600,000 vehicles, though again, Tesla will fix it via a free over-the-air software update. Owners won't have to visit a dealership or take any special steps for the update to make its way to their vehicles.
NHTSA is concerned that the Boombox currently allows owners to choose their own sounds for the car to play. However, Tesla's vehicles also have a feature that lets owners Summon the car slowly to their location, with no driver in the car. NHTSA has specific requirements for pedestrian alert sounds to make sure people are aware that the quiet car is moving, and it doesn't allow the cars to play random sounds that could be confused with something else.
A portion of the recall reads:
“On affected vehicles, the Boombox functionality allows a customer to play preset or custom sounds through the PWS external speaker when the vehicle is parked or in motion, including if Summon or Smart Summon is in use. While Boombox and the pedestrian alert sound are mutually exclusive sounds, sounds emitted using Boombox could be construed to obscure or prevent the PWS from complying with FMVSS 141 when the vehicle is in Drive, Neutral or Reverse, including if Summon or Smart Summon is in use."
Essentially, Tesla will push an over-the-air software update that will disable the vehicles' Boombox feature while Summon is in use. The previous recall forced Tesla to disable the Boombox feature while Tesla's cars are in drive, neutral or reverse.
NHTSA has noted that when it mandated that electric and hybrid vehicles would be required to produce external pedestrian warning sounds, it made it clear that only the automaker or dealer could modify such sounds, not the car's owner.
Tesla has been up against a host of such recalls of late. CEO Elon Musk, in his usual style, commented that the organization is the "fun police."
To check out the official NHTSA recall document, follow the link below: