Tesla Recalls 2 Million Cars for Advanced Autopilot Upgrade

Tesla Recalls 2 Million Cars

Tesla is currently recalling a staggering 2 million electric cars, including Models X, Y, S, and 3 from the 2012 version. The purpose of this recall is to upgrade the Autopilot system to its advanced version, in response to a safety alert concern raised by the federal safety regulator.

It’s quite astonishing to discover that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) dedicated a whole two years to guarantee the safety of Tesla vehicles. This commitment by Tesla to uphold safety standards was highly praised by NHTSA’s acting administrator, Ann Carlson, who expressed her admiration during the court hearing.

“We have found that drivers sometimes fail to pay attention when the system is activated.”

How did this story kick off?

In August 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot feature after receiving reports of fatal crashes. The focus of the probe was on incidents where Tesla vehicles, while using Autopilot, collided with stationary emergency vehicles. To address concerns regarding the “inadequate driver engagement and usage controls” of Autopilot, a recall has been issued for 193,000 vehicles in the United States.

Tesla, despite disagreeing with NHTSA’s analysis, has agreed to release a software update using over-the-air technology. This update is designed to improve controls and alerts, with a focus on reminding drivers of their responsibility while using Autosteer. Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal praised the recall but expressed concerns about the timing, urging further investigations. NHTSA emphasized their ongoing scrutiny of Tesla’s Autopilot and promised to closely monitor the effectiveness of the software update.

What were the opinions of the legal professionals regarding the safety concerns of Tesla?

Legal professionals have concerns about depending solely on a software solution, highlighting the importance of implementing comprehensive measures to prevent potential misuse. Detractors claim that the recall places a considerable burden on human drivers instead of strengthening the system’s built-in protections.

Attorney Bryant Walker Smith proposes that jurisdictions, such as California, could potentially admit the NHTSA recall as evidence in lawsuits involving Tesla. Nevertheless, plaintiffs are still required to establish a clear connection between the recalled defect and the accidents they experienced.

Tesla and legal matters

In addition to the NHTSA recall, Tesla is under investigation by the US Justice Department regarding Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot. This comes after a previous recall in February 2022, which affected 362,000 vehicles. The recall was prompted by concerns about the FSD Beta software’s compliance with traffic safety laws.

In 2017, NHTSA concluded an Autopilot investigation without any action. Nevertheless, both Tesla and NHTSA faced criticism from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for inadequate system safeguards and safety oversight concerning Autopilot.

Tesla’s Autopilot is facing ongoing challenges, highlighting the ongoing discussion surrounding autonomous driving technology and its regulatory framework. People, regulators, and industry players are closely monitoring the progress in this space, as it brings together innovation and safety concerns.

Tesla responded to the Washington Post article regarding safety concerns in a prompt manner

Tesla recently took to Twitter to address concerns about the safety of its vehicles. The company emphasized that none of its vehicles are equipped with unsafe driving systems. In response to a recent article by The Washington Post, Tesla expressed disappointment in the article’s inaccuracies and lack of relevant context. Tesla firmly believes in its moral obligation to constantly enhance its already top-notch safety systems. Additionally, the company believes it is morally unjustifiable to withhold these life-saving systems from a broader range of consumers, considering the undeniable data that proves their effectiveness in saving lives and preventing injuries.

These are a few key points that Tesla highlighted in its Tweet

  1. Autopilot showcases a safety level that is about 10 times better than the average in the US and approximately 5 times superior to a Tesla without any activated Autopilot technology. More comprehensive information will be shared with the public in the upcoming days.
  2. Tesla takes additional safety measures to ensure active driver supervision while the driver remains responsible for vehicle control. These measures include both torque-based and camera-based monitoring systems. We continuously improve these monitoring systems to reduce instances of misuse.
  3. Our customers’ safety is greatly improved when they have the choice to activate Autopilot features at their convenience. When used correctly, Autopilot provides safety benefits in various road conditions.

Final Remarks

Tesla’s decision to recall its vehicles is causing a stir and highlighting its commitment to customer satisfaction. The way the new FSD will operate once it hits the market is clearly visible.