OAN’s James Meyers
12:08 PM – Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Tesla is recalling over two million of its vehicles, due to an “Autosteer” function that allegedly does not “ensure the safety of its drivers.”
The company made the announcement after an investigation revealed its autopilot safety system was “not sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”
The recall includes the 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and the 2020-2023 Model Y that comes with the “Autosteer” function.
“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse,” the recall notice said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the autopilot system can give drivers a false sense of safety and can be misused in dangerous situations when Tesla’s technology may be unable to safely navigate the road.
The new software update is intended to give drivers more warnings when they are not paying attention while on the road with the “Autosteer” function turned on. Those warnings will help drivers be safer on the road, according to the NHTSA.
The NHTSA reviewed almost 1,000 crashes, dating back to 2021, where the autopilot was used, “including frontal impacts and impacts from potential inadvertent disengagement of the system.”
Additionally, Tesla company representatives had met with the agency several times since the beginning of the investigation.
The investigation found that in some circumstances with “Autosteer,” the driver “does not maintain responsibility for vehicle operation and is unprepared to intervene as necessary or fails to recognize when Autosteer is canceled or not engaged, there may be an increased risk of a crash.”
Tesla maintained they did not agree with the agency’s report, however, on December 5th they agreed to voluntarily administer a recall and remedy, which is a free software update to vehicles that were impacted.
The update will “incorporate additional controls and alerts” to “further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged,” the safety report said.
Meanwhile, an NHTSA spokesperson said on Wednesday that its investigation “remains open as we monitor the efficacy of Tesla’s remedies and continue to work with the automaker to ensure the highest level of safety.”
“Automated technology holds great promise for improving safety but only when it is deployed responsibly; today’s action is an example of improving automated systems by prioritizing safety,” the spokesperson added.
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