Tesla’s Autopilot Fiasco: EV maker recalls 3.6 lakh vehicles for major glitch in self-driving code


Tesla is recalling nearly 363,000 electric vehicles because of problems with their driver-assistance technology that increases the risk of crashing, according to a US regulatory announcement seen by AFP Thursday. 

A massive recall
The recall affects a range of Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y Tesla autos from between 2016 and 2023, equipped with “Full Self-Driving Beta” technology, said a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notice.  

To remedy the problem, Tesla will release a software update that can be implemented remotely.

Also read: Tesla to double its supercharger network and open it up to all EVs under Biden’s $7.5 billion EV plan

Problems with Tesla’s FSD Beta system mean cars could undertake manoeuvres that “could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs, which could increase the risk of a collision if the driver does not intervene,” said an NHTSA notice.

The issue with Tesla’s FSD
The driver-assistance system “may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections” by not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, travelling straight in a turn-only lane or running an orange light, NHTSA said in a letter to Tesla.

The system also “may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits,” the NHTSA letter said.

Also read: Shocking video shows woman fast asleep while driving Tesla; here’s what happened next

Tesla shares fell around five per cent following the announcement.

The company’s Chief Executive Elon Musk downplayed the setback on Twitter, agreeing with a user who said the term “recall” should not be used for problems that can be addressed without significant repair.

Musk reacts
“The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!” Musk wrote.

The action comes as US regulators investigate Tesla’s driver assistance programs on a number of fronts.

Also read: Elon Musk lampoons Joe Biden day after releasing ‘Twitter Files’, chides President to buy Tesla

Last month, Tesla disclosed that the Department of Justice opened an investigation into its driver-assistance program. That is on top of an ongoing NHTSA review of Tesla’s “Autopilot” following several safety incidents.

Musk has aggressively touted Tesla’s driver-assistance programs, which have not progressed as quickly as he said they would.

In 2019, Musk said the company would be able to produce a fully autonomous vehicle within a year – an outcome that has still not come to pass.

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Tesla’s Autopilot Fiasco: EV maker recalls 3.6 lakh vehicles for major glitch in self-driving code
Tesla’s Autopilot Fiasco: EV maker recalls 3.6 lakh vehicles for major glitch in self-driving code
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