U.S. safety regulators have ordered Tesla to recall nearly 363,000 vehicles with its “Full Self-Driving” system because it can make mistakes at intersections and doesn’t always obey speed limits.
The recall, which is part of a larger investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into Tesla’s self-driving systems, is the most serious action taken against the electric carmaker so far.
It affects a total of 362 758 vehicles. According to the announcement, these include “certain Model S, Model X, Model 3, 2017-2023 and Model Y, 2020-2023 vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software or in the process of being installed,” Engadget reports.
Such decisions raise questions about CEO Elon Musk’s claims that he can prove to regulators that cars equipped with “full self-driving” are safer than humans and that humans almost never have to touch the controls.
“FSD beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash,” the agency said in documents.
The documents, posted on the safety agency’s website Thursday, say Tesla will fix the problems with an online software update in the coming weeks. The documents say Tesla is performing the recall but disagrees with the agency’s analysis of the problem.
The system, which is being tested on public roads by up to 400,000 Tesla owners, can perform unsafe actions such as driving straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs, or driving through an intersection during a yellow traffic signal without proper attention, the NHTSA says. The problems happen in “certain rare circumstances,” the agency says.
In a statement, NHTSA said it discovered the problems during tests conducted as part of an investigation into Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” and “Autopilot” software, which takes over some driving tasks. The investigation remains open and the recall does not cover the full scope of what NHTSA is examining, the agency said.
Despite the “Full Self-Driving” and “Autopilot” designations, Tesla says on its website that the cars can’t drive themselves and owners should be ready to intervene at any time.
“Cameras can miss a lot of things,” Rajkumar said. “These are not straightforward issues to fix. If they could have fixed it, they would have fixed it a long time back.”,
said Raj Rajkumar, a professor of computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
The recall is another in a list of problems that Tesla has with the U.S. government. In January, the company disclosed that the U.S. Justice Department had requested documents from Tesla about Full Self-Driving and Autopilot.