Tesla Cuts Price Of Media Control Unit Upgrade By $1,000

A massive 17-inch touchscreen is one of the defining features of the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X electric cars. Known as the Media Control Unit (MCU), it has been borne out by the various new features Tesla has added over the years Boundaries. That’s why Tesla began offering an upgrade for older cars last year – and only lowered the price of that upgrade by $ 1,000.

The price of the upgrade dropped from $ 2,500 to $ 1,500 – with no explanation from Tesla. The price listed on the company’s website was simply changed, according to Electrek. The upgrade turns off the MCU in older Model S and X electric cars with a more powerful version that supports newer software features and also offers better touchscreen response.

Tesla has a habit of changing the prices of its vehicles and features on a whim. However, this change coincides with the federal government’s calls for a recall on touchscreens in older Tesla electric vehicles.

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Tesla to recall approximately 158,000 vehicles, including the Model S 2012-2018 and the Model X 2016-2018, because of issues with the MCU. A touchscreen error affects various safety-related functions, including the reversing camera, the autopilot driver assistance, the turn signal chimes and the defroster and defogger of the windshield. This is the downside of Tesla’s screen-centric approach, which minimizes analog controls in favor of the screen.

The cause of the problem is the touchscreen’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and its built-in 8GB flash memory chip, which can fail when it reaches capacity, usually after five or six years of average use, the NHTSA said in its recall request. As of July 2020, according to the agency, Tesla data showed MCU failure rates of 17.3% for affected Model S vehicles and 4.1% for affected Model X vehicles. In 2018, Tesla introduced a more powerful version of the MCU, which is designed for electric cars the S and X models built after this date.

The NHTSA added that Tesla was trying to solve the problem with an over-the-air (OTA) software update, but said it was “essentially inefficient”. Tesla now has until January 27 to respond to the agency’s request for a recall.

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