Tesla recalls 360,000 cars with ‘Full Self-Driving’ to handle crash risks

Tesla is recalling 362,758 vehicles — the 2016-2023 Model S and Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y — equipped with “Full Self-Driving” to handle multiple issues with the software’s behavior that may put drivers and surrounding traffic in danger for a crash. Per Tesla’s defect report submitted to NHTSA (available in its entirety here), cars equipped with FSD Beta “could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs while executing certain driving maneuvers.”

To which traffic laws was Tesla referring, exactly? Things like stopping at stop signs, using the right lane to transit an intersection and obeying posted speed limits — infractions that Tesla’s detractors, and even loyal Tesla owners, have been sounding the alarm about for months. In Tesla’s own words, these behaviors “could increase the chance of a collision if the motive force doesn’t intervene.” Here’s what else the corporate needed to say:

“The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, resembling traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a whole stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a gradual yellow traffic signal without due caution,” Tesla’s recall acknowledgement said. “As well as, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits or not adequately account for the motive force’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.”

“In the particular and rare circumstances described above when a Tesla vehicle is working with a software version of FSD Beta as described below and with FSD Beta engaged, certain driving maneuvers could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs. 

“As of February 14, 2023, Tesla has identified 18 warranty claims, received between May 8, 2019, and September 12, 2022, which may be related to the conditions described above,” the report said. “Tesla is just not aware of any injuries or deaths which may be related to such conditions.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Thursday that Tesla will fix the concerns with an internet software update in the approaching weeks. The documents say Tesla is doing the recall but doesn’t agree with the agency’s evaluation of the system’s flaws.

“FSD beta software that permits a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an illegal or unpredictable manner increases the chance of a crash,” the agency said. 

Tesla didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment, but Elon Musk commented on the problem on Twitter.

“The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat improper,” Musk tweeted.

Includes material from AP.

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