Tesla has started rolling out its fix to an issue that caused the border of some of its in-car screens, also know as the Media Control Unit (MCU), to turn yellow. The fix involves a new UV light fixture tool that is just now starting to roll out to service centers.
My X was in for a wheel alignment on Monday & now the MCU yellow border is gone. Poof! Magic! 🧙♀️
BE PATIENT. Training/tools need to make it to all the service centers. It might take awhile, but it's happening.
(before/after shots below) pic.twitter.com/WYMSQkjIJF
— Bonnie Norman (@bonnienorman) June 28, 2019
The issue affected a lot of screens in Tesla’s Model X and S vehicles and caused minor riots in several online forums. Friend of CleanTechnica and longtime Tesla supporter Bonnie Norman posted an update on Twitter and the Tesla Motors Club about her experience with the new fix in her Tesla, and also emailed info and pics to us.
Bonnie said the fix had already been developed and that the new UV fixture tool was making its rounds to different service centers to get technicians trained up. Bonnie shared on the forums that she believes, “yellowing is from incorrectly cured adhesive that appeared over time — if that’s the case, it makes sense that finishing the cure would be permanent.” That makes more sense and should give owners with yellowing screen borders some hope. The fix does not involve replacing the MCU or the screen itself — just a bit of UV light.
Another TMC member posted what is claimed to be an email from Tesla that indicates the UV light fix is only a temporary measure. “Tesla has developed a procedure which uses ultraviolet light to remove the yellowing condition for a period of time and we will apply it as a one-time goodwill gesture once this procedure is available.” Emphasis added.
The contrast between the likelihood of the fix being permanent and fears that it could return sound like typical manufacturer Cover Your Ass (CYA) language. For a newly developed fix that hasn’t been through the full spectrum of durability testing, they just don’t have enough data to say that the UV lighting fix will be permanent or not. For my dollar, Tesla has a great track record of going above and beyond for service. It is still a young automotive company and it’s growing like gangbusters. Growing pains are a part of the process and they seem to be handling it well.
The issue, while minor and not affecting the function or safety of the vehicle, has already resulted in some owners entering into arbitration with Tesla over the yellowing border. Tesla’s response as part of arbitration was released and offers insights to Tesla’s position on the screen yellowing. It specifically notes that the banding is caused by, “exposure to temperature, humidity, and oxygen over time.” The arbitration document from the California Dispute Settlement Program clearly states that Tesla does not believe the issue is substantial enough to require replacement of the MCU under warranty.
It is exciting that Tesla has identified a fast fix to the screen yellowing that has tainted the ownership experience for so many owners. As with any fix, time will tell if this one stands the test of time.