A Pinch of a Problem with Tesla's Windows

A Pinch of a Problem with Tesla's Windows

Tesla owners should check for software updates or run the danger of finding out that their windows can sneak a pinch. In accordance with what is officially a recall issued by Tesla and published by America's National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this week, windows on impacted vehicles may fail to detect obstructions and subject consumers to a "pinching injury" risk.

In other words, when closing the window, fingers, elbows, or worse, might get entangled there. Tesla is experiencing a million-car problem with decades-old technology that prevents limbs and other objects from being stuck. According to the notice, the problem affects about 1,100,000 US consumers who purchased Tesla electric vehicles in the previous five years. This includes Model 3s produced between 2017 and 2022, Model S and X vehicles produced between 2021 and 2022, and Model Y vehicles produced between 2020 and 2022.

Sleek window design of the Tesla Model 3

After weeks of testing, the automaker has created an over-the-air firmware upgrade to solve the issue that was discovered by Tesla experts late last month. The good news is that the majority of Tesla customers won't need to visit the dealership to get it installed. Apparently,  the software update would specifically tune the car's automated window reversing system to prevent injury. In the meanwhile, the problem has already been corrected on vehicles that were delivered to consumers after September 13.

Furthermore, as of September 16, Tesla was not aware of any injuries. But until you're sure your car is up to date, if you chance to own a Tesla that is affected, just be aware to keep your fingers out the way. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, dismissed the issue in a tweet and blasted the fact that it requires a recall even though it can be rectified remotely. Contrary to popular belief, only a small number of flash motors actually need to be removed from the road and repaired.

"The terminology is outdated and inaccurate," the tech tycoon fumed. "This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries."

Additionally, Tesla is attempting to put out other fires this week. As a result of a Tesla Megapack battery catching fire on Tuesday at a substation in California, authorities in the Moss Landing neighborhood of Monterey Bay were forced to restrict multiple roadways and issue a shelter-in-place order. 

A SpaceX Tour

Elon Musk has a long list of interests, from space exploration to reducing the notorious traffic in Los Angeles. There seems only one thing that does not excite Musk is patents. Tesla's Technoking and SpaceX founder appeared on CNBC’s Jay Leno’s Garage. He gave his old acquaintance a personally guided tour around the Starbase facility in Texas. This is not the first time that Jay Leno and Musk have been on the show. Leno had the privilege of taking a Cybertruck and Model S Plaid for a joyride. However, this time it was about SpaceX. When Leno asked if the space company has patents on their technology, Musk had a sobering response.

Musk replied that his spacecraft manufacturer don’t patent things. He said that patents are for the weak and used as a blocking technique that are designed to prevent others from innovating. In fact, he said, “They’re used like landmines in warfare. They don’t actually help advance things; they just stop others from following you.”

This is not the first time we heard this from Musk. He has never been a fan of patents and he has not changed his view. In a 2014 memo to Tesla employees, Musk said that it was his company’s ability to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers, not its patents, which would make it a success.

Musk’s feelings are bold and seemingly balanced with his view on patents and that they simply stifle progress, embed positions of corporations, and enrich others instead of the actual inventors.