If you own or drive a Tesla, your vehicle's software likely needs a required security update. The electric car company is recalling 2 million vehicles due to a software glitch related to its semi-automatic Autopilot feature. This is what you should know.
Tesla is recalling more than 2 million vehicles of four different models to fix a flaw in its Autopilot system. The self-driving feature is supposed to ensure that drivers pay attention when the system is activated, but a year-long investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that safety measures built into the automated system are sometimes inappropriate and “can lead to foreseeable accidents”. misuse of the system”, according to a statement from NHTSA.
Despite its name, Tesla's Autopilot system is not a fully automatic self-driving mode. You can turn, accelerate and brake automatically in your lane, but otherwise you must have the assistance of a driver.
What did the NHTSA investigation find?
The recall comes as NHTSA conducts an ongoing investigation into a series of crashes, some fatal, related to Tesla's so-called Autopilot system.
Since 2016, NHTSA has investigated 35 crashes, killing 17 people, involving Teslas that the agency suspects relied on Autopilot.
In more than one case, a Tesla running on Autopilot crashed into a parked emergency vehicle sent to respond to unrelated accidents.
Last weekend, Washington Post released a report investigating the shortcomings of Autopilot, including the fact that it is deployed in cases it was not designed to be used for, leading to fatal crashes.
The Washington Post said it has identified about 40 fatal or serious crashes from 2016, including those investigated by NHTSA.
Tesla subsequently issued a statement on social media platform X calling the report “atrocious.”
The company insists that vehicles are safer “when Autopilot is engaged than when it is not engaged.”
What vehicles are affected?
The recall includes models Y, S, 3 and X produced between October 5, 2012 and December 7, 2023.
What is Tesla doing to fix it?
Tesla is sending drivers a software update that fixes the issue without requiring car owners to bring their vehicles in order to drive safely.
The update will install alerts designed to ensure drivers are fully aware and paying attention even when Autopilot is engaged. The checks will “further encourage the driver to fulfill his or her continued driving responsibility,” safety regulators said Wednesday.
Specifically, the update will address the Tesla Autosteer feature, one of the two Autopilot features. Autosteer is designed to keep vehicles on track and in their lanes on highways. A more advanced mode of the function can navigate the city streets. The update limits where Autosteer can be used, depending on conditions in the vehicle's surrounding environment. It will alert drivers that Autosteer is not activated, according to the recall documents.
The software update was sent to owners of certain affected vehicles on Tuesday and the rest received it at a later date, they added.
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