The NHTSA is Investigating Tesla’s Autopilot Recall


the nhtsa is investigating tesla s autopilot recall

Late last year, Tesla recalled two million vehicles to add more driver monitoring safeguards to its Autopilot feature, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is worried it might not have done enough. The NHTSA recently announced that it was opening an investigation into the recall after crashes involving “fixed” vehicles and its early testing on the issue.

Autopilot had already been under investigation by the NHTSA for years, with the agency saying that “Tesla’s weak driver engagement system was not appropriate for Autopilot’s permissive operating capabilities.” It also noted that the deficiencies created a “critical safety gap.”

Part of Tesla’s recall fix also requires the driver to opt in and lets them easily reverse it, which, you know, defeats the purpose of a recall. At the time of the action, the automaker said its controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse,” noting that they could increase the risk of a crash. The NHTSA’s investigation also found more than a dozen fatal accidents where the driver’s abuse of the system contributed.

Tesla’s marketing and naming conventions have also been questioned, with the NHTSA saying that Autopilot could inspire false confidence in the system’s capabilities. Its Full Self-Driving feature is in the same boat, though the automaker recently included new language on its website that outlines the need for an attentive driver. Still, there are several examples of gross driver abuse of the tech online, so it might be time for Tesla to actually do something to fix the problem.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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