Elon Musk criticizes ‘recall’ labeling

Elon Musk criticizes ‘recall’ labeling

Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk on Friday took to X to criticize the use of the term “recall” for vehicle issues that are fixed via an over-the-air (OTA) software update, reminiscent of his previous comments on the topic.

What Happened: Tesla on Friday recalled about 2.2 million vehicles, including the Cybertruck, due to concerns about a smaller font size for warning lights compromising the visibility of crucial safety information.

The issue will be fixed via an OTA update, auto safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said while adding that some vehicles have already received the update. Other impacted vehicles will receive the update in early February, it added.

Musk responded to the use of the term ‘recall’ in the instance saying, “This “recall” literally just changes a few pixels on the screen with an over-the-air update. By that anachronistic standard, phones are being “recalled” every few weeks.”

In another post, he agreed with an X user who opined that the word “recall” must be recalled.

Tesla, via its official X account, responded to media reports saying, “This is a minor over-the-air software update that increases the size of the Brake, Park & Antilock Brake System (ABS) warning indicators.”

Why It Matters: The comments are reminiscent of December when Tesla issued a recall for over 2 million vehicles equipped with all versions of Autosteer, citing insufficient controls to prevent misuse, and offered a free software update.

Tesla Vice President Rohan Patel then wrote in a post that the word “recall” has historically been a very negative thing for any company, “and especially an automaker,” although he added that Tesla customers recognize OTA updates have minimal impact. “Software Recall makes more sense,” he then said.

The CEO too has previously slammed the use of the word recall for an over-the-update update, terming it “flat out wrong.”

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