Tesla Recalls 2 Million Vehicles Over Autopilot Software Issue: Electric vehicle giant Tesla has issued a recall affecting over 2 million vehicles in the United States, marking its fourth recall within a span of less than two years. The recall is centered around upgrading the Autosteer function, a crucial component of Tesla’s Autopilot feature, designed to ensure driver focus during operation.
The recall comes as a response to concerns raised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), citing a potential “increased risk of a crash” when Autosteer is engaged and drivers fail to maintain responsibility for vehicle operation. Tesla plans to address this issue by introducing new, more prominent visual alerts and additional checks for the Autosteer function.
The NHTSA initiated an investigation in August 2021 following 11 incidents involving Tesla vehicles operating with Autosteer engaged. Subsequent meetings between the agency and Tesla led to the automaker voluntarily opting for the recall. This move is in line with Tesla’s commitment to ensuring the safety and reliability of its vehicles.
Tesla has already begun deploying an “over-the-air software remedy” to certain vehicles, with the remaining updates scheduled to roll out later. Owners will receive the updates free of charge, and the modifications are aimed at providing better controls and alerts for the Autosteer function.
Varied Enhancements Depending on Hardware
Depending on the hardware, updated vehicles will feature more prominent visual alerts on the user interface and additional checks when engaging Autosteer. The enhancements will be particularly focused on usage on roadways and when approaching traffic controls. Notably, Autosteer will be automatically suspended if the driver repeatedly fails to use it responsibly.
This recall is the latest event drawing attention to Tesla’s software and safety measures. In October, a California jury determined that the company’s driver-assistance software was not at fault in a crash. However, it underscores the growing scrutiny faced by Tesla as it navigates the complex landscape of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving technologies.
This recall follows previous instances, including China’s order for Tesla to recall 1.1 million vehicles in May due to acceleration and braking system concerns. Earlier, over 362,000 cars equipped with Tesla’s Full Self Driving system were recalled after regulators identified an increased risk of accidents. Tesla’s ongoing efforts to refine its software and address safety concerns highlight the challenges faced by pioneers in the electric and autonomous vehicle space.
Tesla owners can anticipate receiving notification letters about the update in February. The company’s proactive approach to addressing safety issues and implementing necessary modifications is expected to contribute to the ongoing development and improvement of autonomous driving technology.