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Over 2 Million Tesla Vehicles Recalled for Autopilot Software Update

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a recall affecting over 2 million Tesla vehicles in the United States. The recall is prompted by concerns related to the Autopilot feature in Tesla cars, spanning model years 2012-2023. The NHTSA initiated an investigation more than two years ago after examining 11 incidents involving Tesla vehicles operating with Autosteer engaged near stationary first-responder vehicles.

Unique Autopilot Design Raises Concerns

The investigation found that Tesla’s unique design of the Autopilot system can lead to inadequate driver engagement and usage controls, resulting in foreseeable misuse of the system. The recall aims to address these concerns and enhance the safety of automated technology in Tesla vehicles.

Software Updates for Improved Safety

As a remedy, Tesla will send over-the-air software updates to affected vehicles, incorporating additional controls and alerts to encourage drivers to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility when Autosteer is engaged. The updates will improve monitoring systems to reduce misuse, and if the system is misused, the cars will have the capability to suspend Autosteer.

Collaboration and Cooperation

Tesla reportedly cooperated with the NHTSA’s investigation, providing extensive information and participating in meetings with the agency. The recall underscores the importance of deploying automated systems responsibly and prioritizing safety in advancing technology.

Implementation Timeline

The software updates commenced on December 7, 2023, for new cars under production. Certain affected vehicles started receiving the update on December 13, with the rest scheduled to receive it at a later date. The NHTSA emphasizes the significance of the action as an example of improving automated systems with a focus on safety.

Tesla’s Response

While Tesla has not immediately responded to requests for comment, the automaker previously highlighted progress in improving monitoring systems to reduce misuse of Autopilot. Safety metrics are reportedly stronger when Autosteer is engaged, according to Tesla.

In conclusion, the recall of over 2 million Tesla vehicles for Autopilot software updates reflects ongoing efforts to enhance the safety and responsible use of automated technology. The collaboration between Tesla and the NHTSA underscores the commitment to addressing potential risks and ensuring the effectiveness of advanced driving features in Tesla cars.

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