Worn-out NAND memory chips can cause a whole host of problems with some Tesla cars, ranging from the failure of the rearview camera to an absence of turn signal chimes and other audio alerts, a watchdog warned this month.
Some 159,000 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles built between 2012 and 2018 are at risk, we’re told. These all use an infotainment system powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 system-on-chips that include 8GB of eMMC NAND storage, which is typically found in phones and cheap laptops. The trouble is that these flash chips are wearing out, having hit their program-erase cycle limits, and are unable to reliably store data, causing glitches in operation. The storage controllers can no longer find good working NAND blocks to use, and thus fail.
According to a probe [PDF] by investigators for Uncle Sam’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 30 per cent of the infotainment systems made in “certain build months” are failing due to the eMMC flash being worn out, typically after “three to four years in service.”
According to the safety administration, this storage breakdown can “result in loss of rearview/backup camera, loss of HVAC (defogging) setting controls (if the HVAC status was OFF status prior to failure.) There is also an impact on the advanced driver assistance support (ADAS), Autopilot system, and turn signal functionality due to the possible loss of audible chimes, driver sensing, and alerts associated with these vehicle functions.”
This is based on 16,000 complaints and infotainment hardware replacement requests submitted by Tesla owners to the automaker. T
Nice one, Musk