Tesla Self-Driving Recall Issued Over Car Accident Risk

Problems with the self-driving Tesla vehicles have caused a number of car accidents over the past two years.

More than 360,000 Tesla vehicles are being recalled, due to faulty self-driving software, which may be the cause of several recent car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Tesla recall on February 16, warning that vehicles with full self-driving beta software may be prone to errors and increase the risk of crashes.

Tesla and the NHTSA warn that the cars may travel straight through intersections while in turn-only lanes, bypass stop signs, and enter intersections with a steady yellow light without caution or braking. Additionally, the software may not respond to changes in posted speed limits or account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed, resulting in the vehicles exceeding posted speed limits.

The recall impacts model year 2017-2023 Tesla Model 3 vehicles, model years 2016-2023 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles, and Tesla Model Y vehicles from model years 2020-2023, which all have autonomous self-driving software and automated adaptive steering.

An estimated 362,758 vehicles are affected by the recall.

Self-Driving Software Concerns

This new Tesla recall highlights safety issues involved with self-driving vehicles and the NHTSA’s lack of oversight of the vehicles, including allowing vehicles with experimental software to continue to be used on roads without any clear fix.

A recall for 60,000 Tesla vehicles was first issued for vehicles with FSD beta software in January for allowing cars to roll through stop signs. This is an expansion of that recall, Tesla officials said.

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The NHTSA first formally launched an investigation into Tesla autopilot vehicles in August 2021, after the cars were involved in several fatal highway accidents. Tesla admitted the FSD beta software was the source of crashes reported and recalled 12,000 vehicles with FSD beta in 2021.

Tesla also faces a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the FSD beta software or autopilot problems. The lawsuit alleges the autopilot problem was the root of a cause that lead to the death of a California woman and the injuries of her husband.

Tesla indicates it will release an over-the-air software update free of charge to remedy the autopilot software problem, but a date for the update has not been announced. Recall notification letters will be mailed by April 15, 2023.

Many critics worry the software fix Tesla proposes may cause further problems leading to more crashes. The problem is at the root of a debate focusing on self-driving vehicle capabilities. Many believe the autopilot functions pose serious dangers since they are largely unproven as effective or safe.

Owners of affected Tesla vehicles can contact Tesla’s customer service about the recall at 877-798-3752.


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