Tesla warns Full Self-Driving can cause crashes, recalls 362,758 vehicles

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Tesla is recalling(Opens in a new tab) 362,758 of its vehicles – nearly every(Opens in a new tab) EV equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta, its driver assistance system – according to a recall notice(Opens in a new tab) put out on Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NHTSA notice specifically claims that the Full Self-Driving software, a beta feature that costs Tesla owners an extra $15,000 on top of the cost of the vehicle, “allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash.” The notice goes on to provide examples of unsafe behavior such as the vehicle traveling straight in a turn-only lane, proceeding through a yellow light without due caution, and approaching a stop-sign without coming to a complete stop.

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In addition, the Full Self-Driving system “may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits” and does not  “adequately account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.”

The recall affects a slew of Tesla vehicles with Full Self-Driving Beta including 2016 through 2023 Model S and Model X cars, and 2017 through 2023 Model 3 cars. 2020 through 2023 Model Y vehicles with Full Self-Driving are also affected. 

While Tesla issued(Opens in a new tab) the recall voluntarily out of “an abundance of caution,” CEO Elon Musk was not happy with how the news was being reported.

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“The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!” Musk posted(Opens in a new tab) in a reply on Twitter.

However, it should be noted that the document(Opens in a new tab) filed by Tesla to issue the recall is called “Safety Recall Report” and the NHTSA issued the notice as a recall.

This move comes just days after a TV ad demanding the NHTSA take action regarding safety concerns with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving air in major U.S. metropolitan areas during the Super Bowl. However, we should note that according to documents, Tesla officially made the decision to issue the recall on Feb. 7.

As a result of the recall, Tesla will be issuing a free over-the-air (OTA) software update to the affected Tesla vehicles. Owners will received notification letters, which will be mailed by April 15. 

Tesla’s autopilot is not part of the recall, however, according to previous reports, the NHTSA has been investigating the issue with that system as well. The U.S. Justice Department is also probing(Opens in a new tab) Tesla over safety concerns and claims from the company regarding its autopilot system and Full Self-Driving feature as well.

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