Elon Musk Criticizes ‘Fun Police’ for Tesla Fart Horn Recall

by Josh Lanier

Well that stinks. Federal regulators won’t allow Tesla owners to swap out their car horns for fart sounds or other strange noises. Elon Musk blamed the “fun police” for spoiling the gag and requiring the automaker to recall 600,000 vehicles to fix the feature.

Tesla recalled the vehicles last week to change the Boombox feature, the New York Post reported. The carmaker added that as part of a 2020 software update. It let drivers play fart noises, goat sounds, honks, or dozens of other sounds over the cars’ external speakers.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled the feature could make it harder to hear the Pedestrian Warning System. The agency requires all electric vehicles have that warning system to alert pedestrians since the cars make so little noise.

Tesla said it updated the software so the Boombox feature wouldn’t work when the vehicle was in drive, neutral, or reverse, the Post said.

Musk blamed the “fun police” for the change.

It’s unclear why Tesla added the feature to begin with, other than someone — Elon Musk — found it funny. But it may have a real-world application. A Reddit user said the Boombox feature helped stop his road rage.

Yesterday I got cut off super hard by a Tahoe when getting off an off-ramp. I was so p*ssed I slammed the horn and was prepared to tell the guy to learn how to drive. (Then) La Cucaracha went off.

I was confused at first. Then started laughing my *ss off and got a stare from another car, road rage was subsided. I smiled at the guy at the light and honked the horn again and the sound was still going as I sped off the green light. I think we will both remember that moment for a long time.”


Here’s a video showing off the sounds the Boombox feature can make.

Recall is 11th for Tesla in Three Months

Federal regulators have gone after Tesla hard recently over a host of safety issues. The electric car manufacturer has had 11 recalls in the past three months.

Earlier this month, Tesla recalled 800,000 vehicles because the seat-belt chime wasn’t working properly. Tesla said the recall applies to 2021 and 2022 Model S sedans, Model X SUV, 2017-2022 Model 3s, and 2020-2022 Model Y SUVS. The company made the repair via an over-the-air software update. This was the biggest recall in the company’s history.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked the automaker to recall another 54,000 vehicles in the same week over its “rolling stop” feature. Rolling stop allowed the auto-pilot to slowly roll through all-way stops if the car didn’t detect any other vehicles, people, or bicyclists in the area. Tesla also fixed this with an over-the-air repair.

Elon Musk said regulators shouldn’t use the term recall when the company can make the repairs via an over-the-air software patch. He would prefer if regulators used the term “update” in those instances.