Recall: More than 2 million Teslas recalled over autopilot safety concerns

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In response to an investigation revealing shortcomings in its autopilot safety system, Tesla has initiated a recall affecting more than 2 million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), operating under the Department of Transportation, conducted the probe that led to this extensive recall.

The recall encompasses various Tesla models, including the 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y, all equipped with the Autosteer feature described by Tesla as “traffic-aware cruise control.”

The investigation, prompted by 11 incidents involving Tesla’s Autosteer in August 2021, concluded that the autopilot safety system was “not sufficient to prevent driver misuse” in certain circumstances. The NHTSA found instances where drivers failed to maintain responsibility for vehicle operation, leading to an increased risk of crashes.

According to the recall notice issued by Tesla, the prominence and scope of Autosteer’s controls may be insufficient to prevent driver misuse under specific conditions when the feature is engaged. The company emphasizes that drivers should keep their hands on the steering wheel and “always be prepared to take immediate action,” even when utilizing Autosteer.

Despite Tesla initially disagreeing with the NHTSA’s engineering analysis of the Autosteer issue, the company voluntarily agreed on December 5 to administer a recall and remedy. The remedy involves a free software update for impacted vehicles.

As of December 8, Tesla has identified nine warranty claims, received between July 13, 2021, and September 17, 2023, that “may be related” to the Autosteer issue, according to the safety report. Tesla had cooperated with the NHTSA during the investigation, participating in several meetings over the past two years.

Owners of the affected Tesla models are encouraged to contact the company for further instructions on obtaining the necessary software update to address the autopilot safety concerns.