Photo credit: Tesla
Tesla has issued a recall of its Full Self-Driving software, an advanced driver-assistance system that federal safety agencies say could allow vehicles to behave unsafely at intersections and cause accidents.
Tesla said it is recalling certain 2016-2023 Model S, Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3 and 2020-2023 Model Y that are equipped with or pending installation of Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software. The recall, which was posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, affects up to 362,758 vehicles equipped with the software, according to the release.
Tesla will release a free over-the-air software update to fix the issue.
Tesla vehicles come standard with a driver assistance system branded as Autopilot. For an additional $15,000, owners can purchase “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD — a feature CEO Elon Musk has promised for years that will one day offer fully autonomous driving capabilities. Tesla vehicles do not drive themselves.
Instead, FSD includes a number of automated driving functions that still require the driver’s willingness to take control at all times. It includes the Summon parking feature as well as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from a freeway on-ramp to the exit, including intersections and lane changes. The system will also take over steering on urban roads and recognize and react to traffic lights and stop signs.
According to the announcement, the FSD beta system can allow the vehicle to behave unsafely at intersections, e.g. B. driving straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign controlled intersection without fully stopping, or proceeding without due caution while entering an intersection at a solid amber light. In addition, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in advertised speed limits or may not adequately account for driver adjustments in vehicle speed to exceed advertised speed limits, the release said.
The problem was discovered during NHTSA’s technical analysis and testing of the system. NHTSA said it found that Tesla’s Autosteer on City Streets feature created an unacceptable risk to motor vehicle safety in certain situations due to poor compliance with traffic safety laws. As required by law and after discussions with the NHTSA, Tesla has initiated a recall to correct these deficiencies, the agency said in an emailed statement.
NHTSA contacted Tesla on Jan. 25 as part of “regular ongoing communications” between Tesla and the agency regarding Autopilot and FSD Beta, according to the Defect Information Report, which provides a chronology of events leading up to the recall . At the time, NHTSA told Tesla that it had identified potential concerns related to certain operational characteristics of FSD Beta in four specific road environments.
According to the report, Tesla met with NHTSA “in large numbers” over the next few days to discuss the agency’s concerns and Tesla’s proposed over-the-air improvements in response.
“NHTSA will continue to monitor the recall actions for effectiveness,” the agency said. “This recall is aimed at addressing a specific set of concerns that have been identified by the agency.”
The agency added that the recall does not address the full scope of NHTSA investigation EA22-002 into Tesla’s autopilot and related vehicle systems. This investigation remains open and active.
FSD beta software — from its name and Musk’s promises about its capabilities to its launch and security concerns — has been controversial. It has also come under close scrutiny from regulators.
In January, Tesla announced that the US Department of Justice had requested documents related to its advanced driver assistance system, Full Self-Driving and Autopilot.