Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 cars because self-driving software is running stop signs

Tesla recalls nearly 54,000 cars and SUVs because its “Fully Self-propelled” software lets you roll through stop signs without stopping completely

Documents posted Tuesday by U.S. security regulators say Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update. The “rolling stop” feature lets cars go through intersections with stop signs that go all the way up to 5.6 miles per hour.

Tesla responded with the recall after two meetings with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials, according to documents. NHTSA said in documents that not stopping for a sign could increase the risk of a crash. Tesla said it knows of no crashes or injuries caused by the feature.

The recall covers Model S sedans and X SUVs from 2016 to 2022, as well as 2017 to 2022 Model 3 sedans and 2020 to 2022 Model Y SUVs.

Selected Tesla drivers “beta test” the “Full Self-Driving” software on public roads. The company says the cars themselves cannot drive and drivers must always be ready to take action.

A firmware release to disable the rolling stops is expected to be shipped in early February.

A message was left early Tuesday to seek comment from Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations department.

Safety officials complain that Tesla can not test the cars in traffic with untrained drivers, and that the Tesla software can function, exposing other motorists and pedestrians to danger. Most of the other automotive companies have similar software tests with trained human safety drivers.

Tesla introduced the “rolling stop” feature in a software update that was sent out to testing owners on October 20. NHTSA met with Tesla on Jan. 10 and 19 to discuss how the software works, the documents said. On Jan. 20, the company agreed to disable the rolling stops with the software update.

Owners will receive required notification letters on March 28th.

“Rolling stop” function.

The “rolling stop” feature lets the Teslas go through all the stop signs, as long as the owner has the feature enabled. The cars must travel below 5.6 mph as they approach the intersection, and no “relevant” moving cars, pedestrians or cyclists can be detected in the vicinity. All roads leading to the intersection had to have speed limits of 30 mph or less, the documents said. The Teslas would then be able to go through the intersection at 0.1 mph to 5.6 mph without coming to a complete stop.

Alain Kornhauser, faculty president of autonomous auto engineering at Princeton University, said the recall is an example of NHTSA doing its job as the nations’ watchdog for road safety. The recall “shows that they can be effective, even if Tesla should have been more responsible in the first place,” he said.

In November, NHTSA said it was seeking a complaint from a Tesla driver that the “Fully Self-driving” software had caused a crash. The driver went to the office that the Model Y was going on the wrong lane and was hit by another car. The SUV gave the driver a warning halfway around the bend, and the driver allegedly tried to turn the steering wheel to prevent other traffic. But the car took control and “forced itself into the wrong lane”, the driver reported. No one was injured in the Nov. 3 crash in Brea, California, according to the complaint.


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In December, Tesla agreed to update its less sophisticated “Autopilot” driver-assist system NHTSA opened an investigation, The investigation included 765,000 cars – almost all that Tesla has sold in the US since the beginning of the 2014 model year. in emergency vehicles parked on roads. Of the crashes identified by the NHTSA as part of the probe, 17 people were injured and one was killed.

Car safety regulators have also looked at roughly 580,000 Tesla cars equipped with a feature known as “Passenger Play.” Passenger Play, which is accessible via the car’s main driver console, should only be turned on when a Tesla car is parked in the park, security officials said in late 2021. But the NHTSA said it had received complaints that Passenger Play could turn on while someone was driving, increasing the risk of an accident, according to a document submitted by the agency in December.

The company agreed to stop allowing video games to play on central touchscreens while moving their cars.


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