Defective Tesla display: yellow border
Image Credits: Tesla

Defective Tesla display: yellow border

Since about the beginning of 2018 a yellow border appeared in the MCU display of several Tesla Model S and Model X. In the beginning Tesla replaced these damaged displays, but after some time the same problem appeared on the replaced units. My Model S from spring 2017 was also affected and in this article I describe my experiences with it and what Tesla finally did to solve the problem.

At first I didn’t notice a yellow border

It started sometime in 2018, I read on the TMC forum of Model S and X owners who complained about a yellow border that suddenly appeared on their MCU display. The next time I sat down in the car, I noticed that my Tesla display already had a weak yellow border. Before that I hadn’t noticed it at all. But from that day on, I noticed it all the time.That’s how these things work. 🙂

Over the following months the border, which was about 1 cm wide at the beginning, slowly became more intense and wider. The reason for this effect is the yellowing of the glue used to stick the glass of the display. Apparently this happens under the influence of heat with many displays after some time, because there is a problem with the adhesive used by the Tesla supplier.

Of course it is only a cosmetic defect, because the display works perfectly. But it is still an annoying flaw, especially for a car in this price range. As I could read, Tesla replaced the displays at the beginning. But when the replacement displays had the same problem after a short time, Tesla refused to exchange further displays to the chagrin of the annoyed customers. It was said: They were working on a different solution.

The solution from Tesla

In early summer 2019, Tesla published information that a device had been developed that uses UV rays to make the yellow border disappear in the display. This device was soon to be shipped to service centers. In internet forums it was further discussed whether Tesla would be obliged to replace the “defective” displays and not wait so long for another solution. In view of the cosmetic problem, this was certainly a complaint at the highest level and waiting a few months longer was the better solution than disposing of a working display, also from an ecological point of view. Furthermore, the display cannot be replaced individually, but the whole unit including the MCU computer has to be replaced. That really doesn’t make sense.

Tesla Display gelber Rand UV Fix
The UV device developed by Tesla. With this device the display is illuminated with UV light for about 2-3 hours. – Image credits: Twitter

 

Initially, only a few UV units were in circulation and were passed on from service centre to service centre. Some Tesla drivers now even started to build their own DIY solutions and “treat” their display with UV themselves because of the long waiting time. But in spring 2020 the UV units were also delivered in Europe in larger quantities and Tesla asked me to repair my Model S. The whole procedure takes about two to three hours during which the display is exposed to constant UV-light. Because of the heat development the air conditioning of the Tesla runs constantly.

The result: before / after

I took some photos of the MCU of my Model S before and after the repair:

Before: On this photo the border is not so good to see. But in reality it was well visible.

 

Tesla yellow border MCU - before
Before: when the screen is dark, the border is very visible.

 

After: The yellow border has completely disappeared after the UV treatment on my Model S.

 

Tesla yellow border MCU - after treatment
After: perfect!

 

I am totally satisfied with this solution. Beforehand, the service center charged the vehicle to compensate for the power consumption of the air conditioning system. Of course, one can only hope that the yellow edge will not come back. In any case, so far I am not aware that it reappeared later on the displays treated in this way. I don’t know an official statement of Tesla, but in Facebook groups you can read that Tesla allegedly does this UV procedure only once for free.