Tesla recalls 130,000 cars due to an issue causing the CPU in vehicles’ infotainment systems to overheat during fast charging, potentially making the car’s touchscreen malfunction or completely.
The electric car maker started rolling out an over-the-air update (OTA) on May 3rd to fix the issue on affected vehicles, including the 2022 Model 3 and Y and the 2021 and 2022 Model X and S.
“During fast-charging or preparation for fast-charging, the infotainment central processing unit (“CPU”) may not cool sufficiently to prevent higher than expected temperatures. It may cause the CPU to slow processing or restart,” the recall memo from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states.
“Slower processing or restarted processing could cause the center screen display to lag or appear blank.” Unfortunately, the recall doesn’t explain exactly what caused the problem or how the software update will resolve it. Still, it appears to have something to do with how the vehicle preconditions the battery for Supercharger use.
As noted by NHTSA, this issue could prevent drivers from using their backup cam and shifting utilizing the touchscreen. You may even adjust the speed of their windshield wipers (some Tesla models adjust windshield wiper speeds automatically and only house manual speed controls in the central touchscreen).
While it’s not clear how widespread the issue is, NHTSA says Tesla “identified 59 warranty claims and 59 field reports” potentially related to the point. However, the company isn’t aware of any injuries or deaths caused by it.
Tesla started shipping vehicles with AMD Ryzen-based chipsets powering the infotainment system last year, but Tesla doesn’t indicate whether the new processor is part of the problem. Earlier this year, some drivers noticed a slight decrease in driving range in cars outfitted with the Ryzen CPUs compared to older Teslas that came with the Intel Atom.
Tesla has issued several recalls over the years, including one that it couldn’t repair with an OTA update — last December, the company recalled nearly half a million Model 3 and Model S cars for a malfunctioning trunk latch system. More recently, Tesla recalled another 579,000 vehicles to remove a “Boombox” feature that NHTSA took issue with.
Adverse Effects of an Overheated CPU
A CPU that severely overheats causes damage to the internal components. Before this happens, the CPU should attempt to shut itself down. It’s normal for a CPU to run warm, even too warm to perch on your lap while you’re using it comfortably. If you smell smoke or a burning odor, the fans never operate, or the fan operates all the time, be careful to dodge ruining your CPU. Keep your CPU out of direct, hot sunlight or a steaming hot car interior as well — if you bring it to an outdoor job site, mind that you hold it out of weather extremes. Some essential safeguards and an understanding of what happens to a CPU when it overheats make it possible to avoid a disaster.
An overheated CPU slows down and operates less efficiently. The fans should start when the processor begins to overheat in a properly functioning computer system. Turning off the CPU and using compressed air to blow out any dust accumulated in the fans can help improve performance in dirty scenarios.
Most laptop batteries contain lithium-ion batteries that can be damaged by heat. Batteries work by a chemical interaction between negatively charged anode ions and positively charged cathode ions. When the computer begins to heat up, it accelerates this process and causes the ions to move more swiftly. The counted heat and increased chemical reaction reduce the battery life and the amount of time it stays charged. With extended exposure to high heat, the battery may even become inoperable.
CPU provides the skeleton for your computer. All of the CPU’s important components like processor, memory, and fans are connected to the motherboard. In addition, several wires and copper elements transmit electricity throughout the computer. When the computer starts to overheat, the efficiency and output of the electrical current get decline. Using a computer-monitoring application that displays wattage and temperature can demonstrate how strong an overheating can have on a CPU performance. For this reason, business owners who run extensive productivity applications or video-editing software often install large cooling systems for their computers.
Preventing CPU from overheating should be a primary concern of businesses that rely on employee productivity. Using a CPU cooling pad can help reduce some of the heat from a laptop. However, CPU cooling pads only provide part of the solution since they may mask a more serious internal cooling problem. When possible, clean your laptops regularly and take them to a professional to clean off the fans if you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself. For more handy users, taking the CPU apart with the battery removed and cleaning the inside with a soft cloth often decreases overheating.