American automaker Tesla, known for its electric vehicles, issued its nineteenth recall of 2022 over the weekend. Issues ranging from steering and suspension to various software glitches have resulted in the company running afoul of NHTSA regulations numerous times this year alone.
The latest recall is related to the tail lights on some Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Notably, this issue isn’t related to the brake lights, but instead, it’s a problem with the tail illumination lamps. According to a release from the NHTSA, the issues cause the tail lights to flicker intermittently.
Tesla became aware of the flickering tail light problem from its non-US markets after some drivers complained about poor rear visibility. After investigating the issue, Tesla agreed to a voluntary recall to address the lights. As usual for Tesla, this “recall” will actually be an over-the-air software update that owners will receive automatically.
Drivers who own Model 3 or Model Y vehicles should use caution when backing up at night. If their vehicles experience this flickering problem, it could become difficult or impossible to see what’s behind the car, creating a hazardous condition for nearby pedestrians and the driver.
The tail light issue was announced shortly after Tesla announced another recall–one affecting Model X SUVs. This problem, which is also software related, can cause the passenger-side airbags to deploy incorrectly during low-speed collisions. This sudden uptick in recalls has coincided with Tesla’s stock price hitting a two-year low.
Tesla’s engineers are spending time handling software updates at a period when the company had hoped to hit a new compound annual growth rate goal. Some experts have begun to question whether the company knows what it’s doing anymore or if its share prices were inflated due to an illusory perception of Tesla as a leader in the automobile industry.
Some analysts have blamed Tesla’s recent issues on CEO Elon Musk’s recent venture with the social media app Twitter. Musk paid some $44 billion to purchase the company and swiftly set about firing 75% of its workforce and making sweeping changes to its workplace culture.
Many Tesla investors have grumbled that they wish Musk was paying more attention to Tesla and not “wasting time” with Twitter. With the busy fourth quarter looming, the only real certainty now is that Tesla will issue a few more recalls before the calendar flips over.