Software bug could cause Tesla doors to open

Software bug could cause Tesla doors to open

A coding oversight means that the doors in 2021-2023 Models S and X could unlock and unlatch in a collision

Tesla is compelled to recall 120,423 Model S and X vehicles due to a flaw in their code that could lead to their doors unlocking during a crash. This violation of U.S. regulations could result in doors opening following a collision.



In fact, that’s exactly what happened earlier this month, during a routine validation side-impact test. In the aftermath of the crash, performed on December 6, Tesla Engineering noticed that a door on the side of the car that was not struck unlatched.

If a cabin door opens during an accident, it increases the risk of injury to any occupants near it. It also means that the vehicles in question, 2021-2023 Models S and X, do not comply with U.S. regulations requiring that doors remain closed in a crash.

To figure out what was going wrong, Tesla analyzed the test vehicle, and discovered that it was operating without a lockout functionality. In its investigation, it eventually found that the safety feature had inadvertently been excluded from Models S or X with software release 2021.36 forward.

In consultation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla determined that a recall campaign was necessary. Fortunately, Tesla is not aware of any warranty claims or injuries relating to this issue.



To remedy the issue, Tesla wrote a new software update, 2023.44.30, which does include the lockout function, and it was deployed on December 12, 2023. Available as a free over-the-air update, owners aren’t required to take their vehicles to a service center, they just have to accept the update.

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