Answers from Tesla Sought by Safety Regulators in Autopilot Recall Probe

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, News, Tesla

U.S. auto safety regulators are delving deeply into Tesla’s recent recall of over 2 million vehicles, particularly focusing on the Autopilot system. Following reports of 20 crashes involving vehicles with the Autopilot updates installed during Tesla’s recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expressed several concerns and is seeking comprehensive information and documents from the automaker.

In response to these concerns, Tesla initiated its largest-ever recall in December, aiming to enhance driver attention while using its advanced driver assistance system. The recall encompasses a wide range of Tesla models produced between 2012 and 2024. Despite Tesla’s assertion that Autopilot is not a self-driving feature and requires a fully attentive driver with hands on the wheel, the NHTSA is intensifying its investigation.

The NHTSA’s scrutiny extends to the performance of vehicles post-recall, including the frequency of hands-on-wheel warnings issued. One notable aspect under investigation is Tesla’s option for drivers to choose between single-pull and double-pull activation of Autopilot, with concerns arising regarding the default setting and the ability to change it while driving.

Additionally, the NHTSA is evaluating Tesla’s subsequent updates aimed at reducing crashes, particularly those not included in the initial recall. Questions linger about the timing and rationale behind these updates and their impact on vehicle performance. Critically, the NHTSA has raised concerns about the adequacy of Tesla’s driver engagement system for the permissive capabilities of Autopilot, citing a potential safety gap.

This latest probe builds upon NHTSA’s prior investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot system, which have highlighted instances of crashes involving fatalities and serious injuries, often attributed to driver misuse. As the investigation progresses, the NHTSA aims to assess the effectiveness of Tesla’s recall and address lingering safety concerns surrounding Autopilot’s operation.


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