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Tesla is recalling nearly 500,000 cars due to hoods that could fly open while driving and faulty backup cameras

A Tesla Model S, post-crash, in a test environment.

Screenshot via IIHS

  • Tesla is recalling nearly 500,000 cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this month.
  • Over 119,000 cars could have an issue where the hood opens while driving.
  • The other recall is due to an issue with the rear camera. Tesla will fix both for free, the NHTSA said.

Nearly 500,000 Tesla cars are being recalled, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this month.

Of the two recalls issued by the NHTSA, the more immediately pressing one concerns the Model S hood latch. Just shy of 120,000 Tesla Model S cars, from 2014 through 2020, could have an issue where the hood doesn’t properly latch closed.

The result, according to the NHTSA, is that the hood “may open unexpectedly” while driving.

Since Tesla’s vehicles are all-electric, there is no engine in the front of the car. Instead, the front hood is a cover for the car’s front trunk (sometimes referred to as a “frunk”). 

“The front trunk latch assembly may be misaligned,” the recall said, “preventing the secondary hood latch from engaging.” Should that secondary hood latch not engage, it said, “the hood could open unexpectedly, obstructing the driver’s view and increasing the risk of a crash.”

The other, larger recall, concerns over 350,000 Tesla Model 3 cars from 2017 to 2020. 

The rear backup camera, which feeds into the car’s massive center-mounted display, may lose connection due a cable harness that “may be damaged by the opening and closing of the trunk,” the NHTSA recall note said. 

In both cases, Tesla is offering free repairs to anyone impacted by these issues. The NHTSA recommends getting in touch with Tesla customer service; the reference number for the hood issue is SB-21-11-003 and the number for the rearview camera issue is SB-21-17-008.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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