Tesla issues 2nd recall for obstructing pedestrian warning

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. obscure / əbˈskyʊər / (v.) – to prevent something from being seen or heard

    The dark storm clouds obscure the view of the mountain.

  2. audible / ˈɔ də bəl / (adj.) – can be heard or listened to

    Please turn up the speakers’ volume so the music will be more audible.

  3. summon / ˈsʌm ən / (v.) – to order someone or something to be present at a particular place

    The queen summoned the servant to her room.

  4. in motion / ɪn ˈmoʊ ʃən / (idiom) – moving

    It’s hard to read a book when you’re in a vehicle in motion.

  5. inflate / ɪnˈfleɪt / (v.) – to make something, such as a tire or balloon, larger by adding air or gas to it

    We stopped at the gas station to inflate our car’s flat tire.


Read the text below.

Tesla is recalling nearly 595,000 vehicles in the U.S., most for a second time, because a “Boombox” function can play sounds over an external speaker and obscure audible warnings for pedestrians.

The electric car company says in government documents that the new recall will disable “Boombox” if owners are using a feature that lets them “summon” the vehicles at low speeds. The first recall in February disabled “Boombox” if the Teslas were in drive, neutral or reverse.

Both recalls will be done with online software updates.

The new recall covers certain 2020 through 2022 Model Y, X, and S vehicles, as well as the 2017 through 2022 Model 3. It was disclosed Thursday in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Boombox” allowed drivers to play preset or custom sounds while the vehicles were moving. This violated federal safety standards that require pedestrian warning noises for electric cars, which make little noise when in motion.

The February recall came after the safety agency opened an investigation into the issue.

NHTSA said that in 2010, Congress required electric and hybrid vehicles to make pedestrian warning noises. The law required agency rules to stop manufacturers from allowing anyone other than an automaker or dealer to modify the pedestrian warning sounds.

Also Thursday, NHTSA posted documents showing that Tesla is recalling more than 7,000 Model X SUVs from 2021 and 2022 because the side curtain airbags may not inflate as intended in a crash when the windows are lowered.

Owners will be notified in early June, and service centers will replace the left and right front-row side airbags. The problem was discovered in tests done by Tesla.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Tesla issued a recall of several of its vehicles twice. Do you think these incidents will affect Tesla’s reputation? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What actions can Tesla take to ensure that all its products will be free from defects (ex. conduct a regular quality check, do several test drives)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you think companies can make it up to customers who bought products with defects? Discuss.
  • Would you still support a company that previously sold products with defects? Why or why not? Discuss.