Tesla to recall 363,000 electric vehicles in U.S. due to issues with their driver-assistance technology

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17th February 2023 – (Nevada) Tesla is set to recall nearly 363,000 electric vehicles due to issues with their driver-assistance technology, which could increase the likelihood of accidents. The recall will apply to a range of Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y Tesla cars, spanning from 2016 to 2023 and equipped with “Full Self-Driving Beta” technology, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A notice issued by the NHTSA pointed out that problems with the FSD Beta system could cause cars to execute maneuvers that violate local traffic laws or customs, leading to a greater risk of collisions unless drivers intervene.

To address this problem, Tesla is planning to release a software update that can be remotely implemented to tackle these issues. The FSD Beta system has exhibited inadequate responses to changes in posted speed limits and unsafe behavior around intersections. As per a letter sent to Tesla by the NHTSA, the driver-assistance system may not stop at a stop sign or travel straight in a turn-only lane, which could cause further problems.

Tesla’s shares saw a drop of roughly 5% following the announcement of the recall. This situation arises as US regulators are investigating Tesla’s driver assistance programs across various areas. Last month, the company revealed that the Department of Justice was investigating its driver-assistance program. Furthermore, the NHTSA is currently reviewing Tesla’s “Autopilot” following several safety incidents.

The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, tried to downplay the impact of this setback on Twitter, concurring with a user who argued that the term “recall” should not apply to problems that can be addressed without significant repair. Musk labeled the word “recall” as anachronistic and incorrect, particularly when referring to an over-the-air software update.

In conclusion, Tesla’s recall of 363,000 electric vehicles reflects concerns about the safety of the company’s driver-assistance systems. Tesla has pledged to release a software update to address the issue, but this setback is part of a larger pattern of US regulators scrutinising the company’s driver assistance programs.