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Tesla Recalls 322,000 Model 3, Model Y EVs for Rear Light Problems

An over-the-air update should patch things right up.

2021 Tesla Model Y
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2021 Tesla Model Y

Without functioning taillamps, somebody might not see you as easily while driving at night, which is a safety risk.

Tim Stevens/CNET

It doesn't matter if the issue stems from hardware or software, any vehicle defect that can run afoul of the industry's many regulations can trigger a recall. While Tesla's latest recall may affect a large number of its electric vehicles, thankfully it's a quick fix that doesn't require schlepping to the dealership.

Tesla has issued a recall for approximately 322,000 examples of the 2023 Model 3 and 2020-2023 Model Y. The vehicles in question carry a variety of build dates between May 24, 2020, and Nov. 9, 2022. Of the vehicles in this recall, it's believed that only 1% contain the defect.

The problem comes from the vehicle's taillamps. These lights may not illuminate as needed due to an issue with the vehicles' firmware, which, according to the documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF), "may cause false fault detections during the vehicle wake up process." It's worth noting that this problem does not affect a car's brake lamps, backup lamps or turn signal lamps. But, nevertheless, a malfunctioning taillight may reduce visibility to other vehicles at night, which increases the risk of a crash.

Tesla first caught wind of the issue in October, when it received customer reports from foreign markets. After digging deeper and finding three warranty claims in the US for something similar, the firmware anomaly was identified, and Tesla began a voluntary recall. The automaker is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the defect. Tesla does not operate a public relations department and could not be reached for additional comment.

Thankfully, this one is a quick fix. Tesla will deploy an over-the-air firmware update that will eliminate the issue, allowing the taillights to function as intended. Vehicles in production and predelivery states will be updated prior to being released to owners.

Meet Roadshow's long-term 2021 Tesla Model Y

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Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.

Article updated on November 21, 2022 at 7:35 AM PST

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andrewkrok.jpg
Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
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