July 18, 2024

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Tesla Recalls Over 2 Million Cars Due to Autopilot Defect

Tesla is recalling more than two million cars in the U.S. following a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that revealed issues with its Autopilot driver assistance system. Crashes occurring during Autopilot use prompted the extensive recall, encompassing nearly every Tesla sold in the U.S. since the feature’s 2015 launch.

The recall addresses concerns that the Autopilot controls may not effectively prevent driver misuse, as highlighted by the NHTSA’s analysis of 956 Tesla crashes. Despite Tesla’s disagreement with the agency’s assessment, the company commits to resolving concerns through a software update delivered “over the air.” This update, automatically applied to vehicles, aims to enhance safety features without requiring a visit to a dealership.

The UK’s DVSA reports no Tesla safety issues locally, but global scrutiny persists on Tesla’s Autopilot system. The technology, designed to assist with steering, acceleration, and braking, is intended for use under appropriate conditions. However, the NHTSA suggests that the system’s controls might not sufficiently prevent misuse.

Recall follows criticism from a former Tesla employee concerned about technology safety, emphasizing insufficient readiness in both hardware and software. Tesla, on the other hand, defends Autopilot’s safety metrics in comparison to traditional driving.

Despite this being Tesla’s second recall in the year, analysts believe it is unlikely to significantly impact the company’s momentum. Streeter notes common recalls in the auto industry; Tesla’s financial strength facilitates necessary fixes, according to Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown..

Recall targets Autosteer in Autopilot, enhancing safety with extra alerts and monitoring through an over-the-air update to limit unsafe usage. Recall addresses safety concerns, but critics argue regulators missed an opportunity to enforce limitations on Autopilot in inappropriate circumstances. Tesla, a promoter of autonomous driving, grapples with government probes and lawsuits over crashes associated with its software.