Tesla will recall about 135,000 Model S and X vehicles in the US after a months long investigation by NHTSA concluded their touch screens were defective.

Tesla equipped certain Model S sedans from 2012 to 2018 and Model X crossovers from 2016 to 2018 with Nvidia processors that are prone to wearing out, the automaker said in a recall report cited by Bloomberg. The flaw can lead to the loss of rear view camera display and other issues.

The report said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had sent a letter to Tesla last month saying it had determined the failures constituted a defect. While the company disagrees with the finding, it will voluntarily initiate a recall and replace memory devices within the processors.

Bloomberg said NHTSA had opened a preliminary investigation into the issue in June 2020 and upgraded the probe to an engineering analysis last November.

In its response to NHTSA, Tesla said it was issuing the recall "in the spirit of cooperation and to administratively conclude this investigation" despite disagreeing with the agency's preliminary findings that a software update would not sufficiently address the problem with the vehicles.

The company said it would  conduct a voluntary recall and provide a free hardware repair in addition to software updates already implemented, the letter said, according to Bloomberg.

"There have been zero accidents or injuries associated with any of the conditions described," reportedly wrote Al Prescott, Tesla's vice president of legal. While he said the company doesn't dispute that some consequences of the the part wearing out may be related to safety, it "disputes that every safety risk is caused by a defect and that every defect creates an unreasonable risk to safety, especially when the condition does not surprise the driver while driving and the vehicle can continue to be safely operated".

Blomberg said the agency defended its probe in a statement, pointing to the recall announced by Tesla as a sign of vindication despite the fact that the company's recall falls approximately 23,000 cars short of the amount covered by NHTSA's probe.

"As stated in our letter, the agency tentatively concluded that these vehicles contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety," the agency said. "Safety is NHTSA's top priority, and timely recalls are crucial to ensuring the safety of drivers, passengers, and other road users."

Bloomberg noted NHTSA cannot require Tesla to recall a specific number of vehicles until its defect investigation is complete.

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