Elon Musk-owned electric car maker Tesla is reportedly replacing repeater cameras in the front fenders of at least several hundred Model S, X and 3 vehicles made in Fremont, California, although the company has not yet initiated a voluntary recall.
Internal communications said that the repeater cameras on some Model S, X and 3 vehicles made by Tesla in the US have faulty PCBs, or printed circuit boards, inside, CNBC reported, citing internal service documents the company distributed in late November.
A bad PCB can lead to the cameras losing “electrical continuity” and failing well before those cameras could be reasonably expected to need an upgrade or replacement, the report said.
Repeater cameras, which are positioned below and slightly in front of the side view mirrors in the front fenders of some Tesla vehicles, enable driver assistance features, like Autopilot, Navigate on Autopilot, and Smart Summon, for example, it added.
They also provide drivers with visibility into what’s happening around their car’s blind spots.
When the repeater cameras are not working, drivers typically see a black box or choppy video feed on their Tesla’s main display and they may get alerts that their Autopilot function is limited.
Since Tesla has identified an issue with PCBs in the repeater cameras, owners of affected vehicles could be eligible to receive a “goodwill” repair, according to a current Tesla sales manager and a former parts manager.
A goodwill repair is done on the company’s dime, versus a repair where the customer pays or a warranty agreement that obligates Tesla to provide the repair.