Flash Memory on Some Tesla Cars Is Reportedly Burning Out, Causing Major Issues


Shows on more mature versions of Tesla electric automobiles are bricking simply because of shoddy flash memory, in accordance to stories in Within EVs and Motherboard.

The certain challenge is with an onboard NAND-based mostly flash storage chip, the eMMC, which is embedded in some styles of Tesla’s Media Regulate Device (primarily MCUv1, however MCUv2 may well be influenced to a lesser degree). Professionals informed the two web sites that Tesla’s cars and trucks are producing so quite a few logs to the chip that the autos are sporting out the flash chips—an situation that is technically inevitable , but is happening a great deal faster than it really should. The chip’s failure screws with capabilities on the Tesla’s touchscreen, which users on forums wrote could make driving the car inconvenient or even a little bit risky (concerns claimed include reduction of the capability to defrost home windows or cost the vehicle).

057 Technology’s Jason Hughes advised Within EVs that when the 8 gigabyte flash card was not an difficulty, but above the many years “Tesla’s firmware impression size has gone from about 300MB to the complete 1GB greatest dimensions.” Hughes added that while the chip is developed to minimize prolonged-expression degradation via a technique known as don leveling, in which it spreads wear across “unused sections of the flash memory to extend the helpful variety of compose cycles out there,” the onboard personal computer also generates “excessive” logs. Along with other info caching, this results in “no totally free place remaining for additional use leveling to compensate for the excessive log creating,” Hughes instructed the web-site.

The outcome is knowledge corruption and main difficulties with the automobile. This normally takes decades to transpire (the issue is reportedly going on in automobiles at least four decades old), but the decline of the electronic dashboard is a even larger concern for Teslas than other cars. It is also strange for flash memory to burn up out before other elements in most electronics, Tom’s Hardware observed.

“I see it in the wild,” YouTuber Rich Benoit, who repairs Teslas, explained to Motherboard. “I personal a store that repairs these autos and the older automobiles are starting to display their indicators of age.”

Compounding the issue: the flash chip is soldered to the MCU, meaning it can’t only be swapped out. Motherboard documented that simply because Tesla did not indication a 2014 memorandum of comprehending in between automakers who agreed to promote elements to third occasion mend shops, it is tricky to discover Tesla maintenance retailers and spare areas normally have to be salvaged from wrecks. 

According to Inside of EVs, Hughes mentioned the alternative MCU expenditures $1,800 (or significantly extra in certain markets). That is a cost that would have to be paid by the purchaser if the Tesla in question is out of guarantee. Hughes and Cotran Consulting’s Robert Cotran explained to the web site that they can in its place switch the screwed flash chip with a more substantial capability, as nicely as use scripts to tell the computer to create the logs to RAM as an alternative. The latter alternatives arrives at the price of a slight efficiency penalty.

Although professionals are at this time viewing the challenge pop up on MCUv1, the abnormal logging challenge could eventually burn up out flash chips on MCUv2 or even Design 3. Tesla CEO Elon Musk replied to Hughes on Twitter that the issue “should be much far better at this point” with no elaborating.

“Tesla wants to just disable syslog on all vehicles unless of course precisely necessary on a advancement car or truck or to diagnose an infotainment difficulty on a certain car,” Hughes informed InsideEV. There are totally zero reasons to log hundreds of MB for every working day to a little developed-in flash chip.”


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