Tesla touchscreens are having issues due to flash memory problems

Tesla touchscreens are having issues due to flash memory problems
Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay

Older Tesla vehicles are starting to have problems with their touchscreens which causes them to go dark and become useless. For a car that relies heavily on the in-dash touchscreen, this is a huge problem. Several news outlets are reporting that the Tesla touchscreen in-dash display issue is caused by flash memory chips that are simply wearing out due to how the touchscreen works.

Serious Tesla touchscreen in-dash display issue

InsideEVs and Motherboard both picked up the reports about the Tesla touchscreen in-dash display issue. Threads about the problem have appeared on the Tesla Motors Club and Tesla’s own forums, and several repairmen are reporting about them as well.

The person who posted on the Tesla Motors Club website said they bought a November 2015 Tesla Model S earlier this year and even called it “one of the best cars I’ve ever owned.” However, while the person was driving home in May, the touchscreen in the vehicle froze and then went black and never came back on, no matter what they did. The touchscreen is needed to turn on the de-fogger in the car, so the driver experienced major issues because it was raining, and there was no way to de-fog the windows. Additionally, Tesla wasn’t able to connect to the car remotely, so they were forced to drive to a service center or call roadside assistance.

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Here’s what’s causing the problem

According to repairmen who have spoken to InsideEVs and Motherboard, the problem is with the eMMC flash storage chip, which is embedded on the MCU1 board. Tesla vehicles write logs to this chip, just as they are supposed to do, but the problem is that they write so much to the chip that it eventually burns out. The chip has a finite number of writes, which means that once it reaches that point, it burns out, which bricks the display. The car won’t even charge when this problem happens.

Another repairman tweeted about the problems with the MCUv1 boards, saying that the flash memory has been failing. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the problem “should be much better,” but it’s unclear what has been done about it.

Tom’s Hardware also reported on the Tesla touchscreen in-dash display issue. The memory used in newer Teslas is apparently more resistant, but the problem is that the system is writing even more data to the logs than before. Of greater concern is that the memory is burning out much earlier than it should.

Additionally, it can cost over $1,800 to fix the problem, and it’s frequently occurring on Tesla vehicles that are just out of warranty. In some cases, drivers are reporting the issue before the warranty period ends, but nothing is being done about it until the vehicle is out of warranty.

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