Tesla has to patch 130K cars because their Ryzen APUs are overheating


Electric car maker Tesla issued a soft recall for almost 130,000 of its cars because of an overheating issue with its onboard CPU, according to a report by electrek. The overheating can cause the infotainment touchscreen to malfunction. Thankfully this type of recall doesn't require people to return their car to the dealership, and a fix will be made available via over-the-air software update. 

The cars affected include the 2021-2022 Model X and Model S, and 2022 Model 3 and Model Y, which all use AMD's Ryzen APUs. Older Teslas with Intel Atom CPUs seem to be unaffected because of their lower TDP. Since this problem can affect critical functions of the car, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) requires Tesla to issue a recall.

The report says that the overheating issue happens during the car's battery pre-conditioning while driving towards a Supercharging station or while parked during a fast charge. 

The problem is that the car will prioritize its liquid cooling (shared with the infotainment system) to the batteries, leaving the CPU to overheat. 

The overheating can cause the vehicle's infotainment touch screen (the same one that plays videogames) to slow down to a crawl and, in some cases, turn off. The recall notice goes into a little more as to what could happen:

“A lagging or restarting CPU may prevent the center screen from displaying the rearview camera image, gear selection, windshield visibility control settings, and warning lights, increasing the risk of a crash.”

According to AP, Tesla discovered the problem during routine endurance testing and has gotten no reports of crashes or injuries. This has been the 11th recall for Tesla since January 27, 2022. 

Tesla owners should be getting a notification of the recall in the mail starting July 1, though the software update has already begun rolling out as of the last week. Hopefully, by the time they're notified, all the affected car owners will have already downloaded the fix that improves CPU temperature management.