Tesla told the agency this week that between spring 2019 and fall 2022, customers filed warranty claims corresponding to situations noted by NHTSA at least 18 times. found by the agency.
NHTSA documents say Tesla disagreed with the agency’s analysis but agreed to proceed with the recall anyway. Software defects will be fixed with an over-the-air update “in the coming weeks,” the agency said, meaning drivers won’t need to bring their cars in for service. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment, and it’s unclear what changes the automaker will make to its fully autonomous driving feature. (Company reportedly disbanded his press team in 2020.) But Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted that using the word “recall” to describe an update “is anachronistic and completely wrong!”
Tesla’s full self-driving feature is not really “self-driving” as most people understand it. Even Tesla calls it a “driver assistance” feature that is in “beta”. The company’s documentation states that drivers must remain vigilant and be ready to take over at any moment.
This feature is designed to keep vehicles within the lane; automatically change lanes; parallel park; and slow down and stop for stop signs and traffic lights. Drivers paid between $5,000 and $15,000 for a “beta” version. It was first released in 2020 to customers who Tesla says are proven safe and qualified enough to test the software on public roads.
At the end of November, Tesla released this feature to anyone who paid for it. Some Tesla owners filed a class action lawsuit for fraud over the technology, citing Musk’s many promises that true autonomous driving technology is only a few months away.
Tesla releases quarterly vehicle safety reports stating that cars using Autopilot are much less likely to crash than the average American car. But this comparison leaves out other variables that would make it clearer what role autopilot plays in crashes, including vehicle type and age (newer and luxury cars like Teslas have fewer crashes) and location (rural areas where Teslas less popular, more accidents on average). Federal data shows that self-driving Tesla vehicles have been involved in at least 633 crashes since July 2021.
This is just Tesla’s latest conflict with the federal government. An investigation into collisions between first responders and self-driving cars is ongoing. The NHTSA also launched an investigation last year after receiving hundreds of complaints from drivers that the company’s self-driving cars exhibited “phantom braking,” stopping suddenly without warning or reason.
Some of Tesla’s interactions with the US government have been more pleasant. Just this week, the Biden administration announced that the company would be part of its effort to create a nationwide public electric vehicle charging network, allowing drivers of other electric vehicles to use part of its well-established Supercharger network to charge electric vehicles. first time.
The announcement marks a détente between Musk and the White House after years of permafrost. The CEO argued that the administration failed to give credit to Tesla for launching a climate-friendly vehicle electrification project in the US; the administration opposed Tesla anti-union stance. The truce came in the language of love Mask: presidential tweet.