Earlier this month, documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated Tesla had issued a recall for an adaptor plug that risked overheating while charging.
But Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the defect — which was found in fewer than 3% of adapters — wasn’t a “recall” at all.
“Some confusion in media reports today,” he tweeted. “No Tesla vehicles are being physically recalled by Tesla.”
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that, indeed, “Tesla owners do not need to physically come to a Tesla store or service center.” The software update would be mailed.
“Recall” or “software update” — is this just a pointless game of semantics? Maybe not.
David Strickland, the U.S.’s top auto-safety regulator until last week, told Bloomberg’s Angela Greiling Keane that Musk has a point here. From Bloomberg:
“As much as Tesla disagrees and Elon disagrees with the characterization of a recall, I would have to say he’s partially right there,” Strickland said about Tesla’s chief executive officer in an interview today. “What people think of in terms of a recall is you get a letter from the manufacturer to bring your car in to the dealership.”
“Tesla is able to change vehicle dynamics and make vehicle changes from the sky,” said Strickland, who said he couldn’t remember a safety repair being made that way before. “You don’t have to impose an inconvenience on the consumer when that remedy comes in.”
“The word ‘recall’ needs to be recalled,” Musk tweeted at the time. Maybe, in Tesla’s case, he’ll get his wish.