Tesla Recalls Over 2 Million Vehicles in the U.S. Due to Autopilot Safety Concerns

Tesla’s Massive Vehicle Recall

Tesla has initiated a recall of over 2 million vehicles across its model lineup in the United States due to a defective system aimed at ensuring driver attention while using the Autopilot feature.

Documents revealed by U.S. safety regulators on Wednesday indicate that the company plans to resolve the issues through a software update.

Safety Concerns and NHTSA’s Investigation

The recall comes following a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into a series of crashes involving the Autopilot partially automated driving system. Tragically, some of these incidents resulted in fatalities.

The NHTSA investigation found shortcomings in Autopilot’s mechanisms for ensuring driver attentiveness, leading to potential misuse of the system.

Affected Models and Software Update

The recall encompasses Tesla’s Y, S, 3, and X models manufactured between October 5, 2012, and December 7, 2023.

The software update aims to enhance controls and alerts, compelling drivers to maintain continuous responsibility while driving.

Restrictions and Additional Monitoring

The update includes limitations on where Autosteer, a feature of Autopilot, can be engaged. It prompts visual and audible alerts if drivers attempt to use Autosteer in inappropriate conditions.

Moreover, the added controls involve increased visibility of alerts, simplified activation/deactivation of Autosteer, and checks to prevent its misuse.

Tesla’s Response and Safety Advocacy

Tesla’s defect report acknowledges potential limitations in preventing driver misuse through Autopilot controls.

Safety advocates have long called for stricter regulation and enhanced monitoring systems to ensure driver attention, with some suggesting the use of cameras—a measure adopted by other automakers.

Series of Tragic Incidents

The recall surfaces amidst a series of Tesla-related crashes, some involving fatalities, potentially linked to the Autopilot feature.

These incidents have raised concerns about the effectiveness of Tesla’s monitoring system and the actual extent of driver oversight required.

Ongoing Investigations and Safety Measures

NHTSA’s continued investigation and Tesla’s response signify an ongoing effort to address safety issues associated with Tesla’s Autopilot feature.

The recall aims to rectify potential risks and improve the overall safety of Tesla vehicles on the road.

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