Tesla Issues Semi Truck Recall Over Rollaway Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The worldwide wait for Tesla’s all-electric semi-trucks seemed unimaginably long due to the hype that had been built up around them. But Tesla ultimately made good on its promise by finally commending deliveries in December of 2022. Sadly, no manufacturer seems to be able to produce new models without a few hiccups these days and the company has issued a voluntary recall on the rigs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed on Friday that Tesla plans to recall 35 long-haul Semis over parking brake issues. While that doesn’t sound like a lot of units, it likely comprises a significant portion of those built between November 30th, 2022, and February 28th, 2023.

Based on the recall report, the trucks were manufactured with an electronic parking brake module that supplier Bendix suggested might have some problems. The resulting issue presents a rollaway risk, as the “electronic parking brake valve module (PVM) may fail to move into the park position when the parking brake is activated.”

That’s bad news for any vehicle and particularly dangerous when the model in question weighs over ten tons without a trailer. The good news is that the parking brake component defect has not resulted in any known damages, according to the NHTSA filing.

We’ve seen the truck in the media in its current form since 2017. But deliveries did not commence until late last year, with Pepsi getting the first batch as part of a high-profile acquisition garnering loads of publicity.

Tesla is set to give us a tally regarding the number of trucks this weekend as part of its first-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report. The recall will likely be mentioned as well, with more details being offered.

As of now, the solution involves having Tesla replace the parking brake valve module free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed by May 23rd, 2023. However, owners may also contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla's number for this recall is SB-23-33-001.

The NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline can likewise be reached at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153) for those seeking additional information. Alternatively, drivers can put their vehicle identification number (VIN) into the recall page or look up the recall campaign using code 23V205000.

[Images: Tesla]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 26 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Apr 03, 2023

    Tesla? A recall? That never happens.

  • Malcolm Malcolm on Apr 03, 2023

    That wasn't what I was getting at. I mentioned what is the real world performance when the Tesla Semi when actually loaded up like most trucking companies do? The Musketeer showing off a half-loaded light truck doesn't show its performance potential.

  • ToolGuy My rotary phone works just fine. Technology scares me. Can someone hold me? 😉
  • Tane94 And what of the Soul? About to be axed?
  • FreedMike Anyone know what the commercial real estate situation is in downtown Detroit? Apparently GM owns the old HQ and is leasing the new one.
  • Analoggrotto We should sell california to Canada, they can't manage themselves very well.
  • FreedMike Why, those jackbooted Canuck thugs...how dare they mandate this?