NHTSA asks Tesla why it didn’t start a recall after a safety-related software update

Tesla, operating in a vehicle driver assistance system known as the autopilot, struck a police car in Michigan on March 17, 2021, officials said in a tweet.

Michigan Police

Federal vehicle safety authorities are asking Tesla to explain why they didn’t start the recall when they pushed safety-related software updates to their customers in September.

According to a letter from the Department of Road Safety to Tesla published on the government website on Wednesday, this update allows Tesla vehicles to better detect emergency vehicle lights in the dark.

Tesla’s “Emergency Light Detection Update” is a customer via a wireless software update weeks after NHTSA begins investigating possible safety flaws in its standard driver assistance package, Tesla Autopilot. Delivered to the car.

Tesla also sells a premium version of the Driver Assistance System under the FSD or Full Self-Drive brand name for $ 10,000 upfront or $ 199 per month. None of Tesla’s systems make it safe to use a car even when it is not always driven by a human driver. These are “level 2” driver assistance systems, not fully autonomous vehicle technology.

As CNBC previously reported, NHTSA has about 12 collisions with the vehicle of the first responder, usually at night or in the morning before dawn, when a Tesla driver is parked by the side of the road. Identified a conflict. In each incident identified by NHTSA, Tesla drivers used the autopilot or traffic-aware cruise control features prior to the crash. One of the crashes caused death.

NHTSA wants to know if an autopilot defect or design issue caused these crashes. And now they also want to know if Tesla’s software updates have effectively served as stealth recalls.

If the agency determines that the autopilot is flawed, it may require a recall and affect Tesla’s public image. Such discoveries could also increase the urgency of evaluating and regulating driver assistance systems like Tesla.

NHTSA currently publishes an annual New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) assessment of the impact resistance of vehicles sold in the United States. Although the NCAP assessment lists the features included in each vehicle, the agency has not yet evaluated or restricted the use of driver assistance systems like Tesla.

As part of the Tesla probe, NHTSA evaluates equivalent systems from 12 other automakers.

NHTSA’s Gregory Magno is responsible for the agency’s vehicle defects department and Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of field quality, tells automakers their cars that need to be fixed.

Wireless software updates are covered by current federal recall legislation, Magno emphasized.

The agency also asked Tesla for more information on the expanding FSD beta program.

The program provides untrained Tesla owners with the opportunity to test pre-release software and new driver assistance features on public roads in the United States. The FSD beta software does not unmanned Tesla vehicles and is not sufficiently bug-removed for general use and widespread release.

In particular, NHTSA requested detailed records of how Tesla evaluates and selects participants in experimental early access programs.

Recently, Tesla has added a “beta button” that allows all customers to request access to FSD beta downloads. We have also released an insurance calculator that provides access to “safety scores” for drivers seeking FSD beta.

Tesla owners, who drove at least 100 miles and scored 100 points in a week, will expand the program by about 1,000 this week, according to CEO Elon Musk, who mentioned the number at last week’s annual shareholders meeting. You have been granted access to.

Vehicle safety advocacy groups, including the National Transportation Safety Board, are calling on NHTSA to sooner or later regulate systems such as Tesla’s autopilot, FSD, and FSD beta.

NHTSA asks Tesla why it didn’t start a recall after a safety-related software update

Source link NHTSA asks Tesla why it didn’t start a recall after a safety-related software update

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