Tesla’s beleaguered auto-driving technology hit another speed bump this week. After several setbacks over the last few years, the company announced a recall on Wednesday for a problem affecting all four Tesla models.
The Full Self Driving (FSD) feature poses a safety risk at intersections, even if the driver is paying attention, according to the recall report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Affecting nearly 363,000 Tesla vehicles, the issue has resulted in 18 driving incidents since May 8, 2019, though none resulted in injuries or deaths, the report said.
“The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,” according to NHTSA documents.
Tesla owners pay about $15,000 to use the company’s auto-driving feature, which the report said can be fixed through an over-the-air software update. The supposed easiness of the solution led CEO Elon Musk to question the use of the word “recall” in a tweet on Thursday.
The company’s FSD system is meant to help drivers navigate through assistance to steering, braking, and acceleration. However, a human driver must still be prepared to avoid errors made by the system.
Definitely. The word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2023
Not the First Issue With Tesla Feature
While Musk might be upset at the word “recall,” it’s only the latest development for the troubled car company.
In June of last year, the NHTSA identified 273 crashes involving one of Tesla’s driver-assist systems, including both the FSD system and its predecessor, the Tesla Autopilot, CNN reported.
Some of those crashes have led to lawsuits from affected owners and their families. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating the company for potentially overstating the claims of its semi-autonomous technologies. It’s possible that the U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating Tesla’s FSD feature, TechCrunch reported. And in January, a report from influential Consumer Reports criticized Tesla’s Autopilot feature, ranking it seventh of 12 similar technologies on the market.
As for the latest issue, it affects any of the following models with the FSD system installed: 2016-2023 Model S, Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y.
Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed by April 15, the recall notice said. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. The company number for the recall is SB-23-00-001.
GearJunkie contacted Tesla for comment but did not receive a response. The company eliminated its media relations department in 2020.