In the US, Tesla is recalling almost two million vehicles because of safety concerns related to the Autopilot feature.
This move comes after a two-year investigation.
The investigation looked into roughly Tesla 956 crashes involving the technology’s use.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the Autopilot system gave drivers a false sense of security.
This leads to potential misuse and risky behavior on the road saying, “the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse”.
“Automated technology holds great promise for improving safety but only when it is deployed responsibly”, the NHTSA said on Wednesday (13 December).
It’s Tesla’s biggest recall ever.
Even after Elon Musk famously once had to recall 500,000 Teslas that could play fart sounds.
And this isn’t the only time Elon Musk has been left red-faced recently as he lost $7 billion in five hours.
The most recent recall includes a software update “over the air” to fix the issue.
This safety upgrade will happen automatically.
It doesn’t require Tesla owners to visit to a dealership or garage.
The update will provide additional warnings to Tesla drivers when using Autopilot’s “Autosteer” function.
The NHTSA hope this move will enhance driver attention and prevent future accidents.
The recall update comes mere days after Tesla announced their 2023 Holiday Update.
The huge recall applies to almost every Tesla sold in the United States since Autopilot launched in 2015.
Autopilot was touted to help with steering, acceleration and braking.
However, it still requires input from the driver and is supposed to ensure the feature is only used in appropriate conditions.
This includes driving on highways.
According to the recall notice, Tesla did not concur with the agency’s analysis.
However, they did agree to add new features to resolve concerns.
These include additional checks on turning on self-driving features.
On Tuesday, Tesla defended the safety of Autopilot in a post on X in response to a Washington Post article.
“Safety metrics are emphatically stronger when Autopilot is engaged than when not engaged” the company’s account said in the post.
They quoted statistics that suggest there were fewer crashes when Autopilot is engaged.
Tesla also recently announced its Active Hood safety feature for pedestrians and cyclists.
The NHTSA will continue to monitor the software once it was updated.