Tesla gives in: Longer chip guarantee for old Model S and Model X, reimbursement of costs

Most customers enjoy Tesla’s electric cars, but some owners of older Model S and Model X have had to deal with an unsightly and expensive problem: a memory chip that is too small for the infotainment computer tends to fail after a long time, so the screen stays black. After the warranty expired, the costs were left with, according to reports a four-digit amount. After many protests and an investigation in the USA, Tesla now apparently has an understanding: Owners of older copies of the two premium electric cars have been informed that the chip has an extended warranty.

Tesla acknowledges chip problem

On the Tesla website for the USA, the conditions for the extra guarantee could already be found on Tuesday. This was not yet the case at Tesla Germany, but at least one owner of a Model S reported that they had been informed of the new regulation by email. According to the text on the web, it applies to all Model S and Model X built before March 2018. Tesla is aware of the problem with chip wear and tear and will now cover the repair costs for up to eight years or 100,000 miles after the initial registration.

The original 8 gigabyte EMMC memory will either be repaired or replaced by a larger one with 64 gigabytes, Tesla continues. Owners of older Model S and Model X should not come to the workshop immediately, but only if problems arise. According to Tesla, they have no effect on the drivability and controllability of electric cars. However, this was denied on Twitter, because anyone who secures the start of his Tesla with a pin can no longer enter it when the screen is black.

The modestly dimensioned memory chip belongs to the first generation of the infotainment computer called Media Control Unit at Tesla, abbreviated to MCU. Tesla is now at MCU2 – European Model S and Model X can get an upgrade for 2500 euros, which also includes a new memory.

Refunds also for free repairs

In addition, Tesla claims to compensate customers who have already had to pay for a repair of their failed memory. This offer apparently also applies if the chip was not exchanged at Tesla, but in an independent workshop – several of them now offer memory repairs at a fraction of the cost at Tesla. According to the information on the new warranty, owners will be informed within the next 90 days if they are eligible for a refund.

Tesla’s decision to extend the chip warranty for older Model S and Model X may not have been made voluntarily: According to reports from this June, the US agency NHTSA has started an investigation because of too many reported failures, but only models up to 2015 should concern.


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