Tesla Bull Gary Black Says Recalls Won't Hurt Valuation, But He's Worried About Something Else: '...One Can't Ignore The Numbers'

Tesla Inc TSLA investor and Future Fund Managing Partner, Gary Black, dismissed the company’s latest massive recall as inconsequential for the EV giant’s valuation.

What Happened: Early on Wednesday, Tesla issued a recall for over 2 million vehicles equipped with all versions of Autosteer, citing insufficient controls to prevent misuse, and offered a free software update.

The recall followed a U.S. auto safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation initiated in 2021, involving 11 incidents with stationary first-responder vehicles and Tesla cars using Autosteer.

See Also: Everything You Need to Know About Tesla Stock

Analyst’s Take: Black, however, believes it won’t affect Tesla’s valuation. “In my history of owning $TSLA, OTA updates and NHTSA ‘recalls’ have never impacted TSLA's valuation or TSLA's stock price for longer than a day,” he said, adding that the cost of a software update is “close to zero.”

Despite Tesla’s brand equity being higher than other automakers, Black noted a hit this year. While the new Cybertrucks might enhance brand equity, he suggested Tesla needs more advertising instead of price cuts, which harm margins.

“Cybertruck innovation and quality will help boost overall TSLA brand equity but absent strong advertising to convey TSLA benefits vs ICE and EV peers, one can't ignore the numbers,” he said.

What’s In A Term? Many have questioned the use of the word “recall” when only a software update is required.

Tesla investor Ross Gerber said, “When a Tesla gets ‘recalled,’ that means it must go to the nearest wifi for an update… Maybe the terminology should be changed.” 

Tesla Vice President Rohan Patel echoed this sentiment, saying that the word “recall” has historically been a very negative thing for any company, “and especially an automaker,” although he added that Tesla customers recognize OTA updates have minimal impact.

“Software Recall makes more sense,” he said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself has slammed the usage of the term as “anachronistic and just flat wrong!”

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