Tesla announces recall of over two million vehicles amid autopilot safety concerns

Tesla major recall

WEB DESK: Tesla is initiating a recall of over 2 million vehicles, encompassing nearly its entire fleet in the United States.

The move comes in response to an investigation that revealed shortcomings in the autopilot safety system, rendering it “not sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”

The affected models include the 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y, all equipped with Autosteer—an attribute described by Tesla as “traffic-aware cruise control.”

The recall notice highlights that under specific circumstances, when Autosteer is activated, the controls’ prominence and scope may not be adequate to prevent misuse by the driver.

Autosteer is designed to maintain a preset speed or following distance, detect lane markings, and recognise other vehicles. Despite this, Tesla emphasises that drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take immediate action, even when utilising the feature.

This recall follows an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the Department of Transportation. The NHTSA commenced its inquiry in August 2021, examining 11 incidents related to Tesla’s Autosteer.

The investigation delved into nearly 1,000 crashes, focusing on 322 autopilot-involved crashes, including frontal impacts and instances of inadvertent disengagement of the system.

Tesla cooperated with the NHTSA, engaging in multiple meetings over the subsequent two years.

The investigation concluded that in specific Autosteer scenarios, drivers might not uphold responsibility for vehicle operation, leading to an increased risk of crashes.

While Tesla contested the NHTSA’s engineering analysis, on December 5, the company voluntarily agreed to a recall and remedy.

The proposed solution involves a free over-the-air software update for impacted vehicles, integrating additional controls and alerts. This update aims to reinforce drivers’ continuous responsibility when Autosteer is engaged.

Owners of affected vehicles will receive notifications by mail. The safety report, as of December 8, indicates that Tesla has identified nine warranty claims between July 13, 2021, and September 17, 2023, potentially linked to the Autosteer issue.

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