Tesla Software Update to Fix Model S/X Cabin Door Safety Bug

Tesla has issued a safety “recall” report (23V-862) for its 2021-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles, citing noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, specifically concerning side impact protection.

The issue affects approximately 120,423 vehicles, with an estimated 100% of these potentially having the defect.

The issue was identified during routine validation side-impact testing on December 6, 2023, when Tesla Engineering observed a cabin door unlatching after impact. Further investigation revealed that software release 2021.36 and subsequent versions up to 2023.44.30 inadvertently excluded the lockout functionality required for compliance with FMVSS No. 214, S9.2.3(b)(1). This software began deploying to affected vehicles on September 30, 2021.

On December 13, 2023, Tesla confirmed the non-compliance and voluntarily decided to initiate a recall. As of December 14, 2023, there have been no reported warranty claims or injuries related to this condition.

Tesla’s remedy for this issue involves an over-the-air software update, which began rolling out on or shortly after December 12, 2023, with software release 2023.44.30. This update reinstates the necessary lockout functionality, ensuring compliance with the safety standard. Vehicle owners will not incur any costs for this remedy, and no physical service visit is required for those with vehicles already equipped with software release 2023.44.30 or later.

The recalled component differs from the remedy component in that the latter complies with FMVSS No. 214, S9.2.3(b)(1), whereas the former does not. Production vehicles started incorporating the corrected software release 2023.38.200.2 from December 9, 2023, which includes the required lockout functionality.

Tesla plans to notify all stores and service centers about this recall by December 21, 2023. Owner notification letters are scheduled to be mailed on February 17, 2024, in compliance with 49 C.F.R. § 577.7. The company has stated that there will be no pre-notice reimbursement to owners as the remedy involves a free software update and no paid repair is necessary.

Tesla’s 2023.44.30 is the company’s annual holiday update which has already been rolling out to customers, which includes this fix. The magic of software updates once again is so powerful for Tesla owners.