Tesla is recalling 362,758 vehicles — the 2016-2023 Model S and Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y — equipped with “Full Self-Driving” to address multiple issues with the software’s behavior that can put drivers and surrounding traffic at risk for a crash. Per Tesla’s defect report submitted to NHTSA (available in its entirety here), cars equipped with FSD Beta “could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs while executing certain driving maneuvers.”
To which traffic laws was Tesla referring, exactly? Things like stopping at stop signs, using the correct lane to transit an intersection and obeying posted speed limits — infractions that Tesla’s detractors, and even loyal Tesla owners, have been sounding the alarm about for months. In Tesla’s own words, these behaviors “could increase the risk of a collision if the driver does not intervene.” Here’s what else the company had to say:
“The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,” Tesla’s recall acknowledgement said. “In addition, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits or not adequately account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.”
“In the specific and rare circumstances described above when a Tesla vehicle is operating with a software version of FSD Beta as described below and with FSD Beta engaged, certain driving maneuvers could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs.
“As of February 14, 2023, Tesla has identified 18 warranty claims, received between May 8, 2019, and September 12, 2022, that may be related to the conditions described above,” the report said. “Tesla is not aware of any injuries or deaths that may be related to such conditions.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Thursday that Tesla will fix the concerns with an online software update in the coming weeks. The documents say Tesla is doing the recall but does not agree with the agency’s analysis of the system’s flaws.
“FSD beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash,” the agency said.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Elon Musk commented on the issue on Twitter.
“The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong,” Musk tweeted.
Includes material from AP.
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