Tesla announced a recall of nearly 363,000 vehicles equipped with full self-driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified the driver-assist program as a “crash risk.” The recall applies to the 2016-2023 Model S and Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3 and 2020-2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with the full self-driving beta.
NHTSA’s concerns focus on four specific situations that can occur on the road. These include navigating intersections during a “stale” yellow light, adjusting the speed when the speed limit changes, coming to a stop at a stop sign and changing lanes to exit a turn-only lane. Tesla will provide an over-the-air software update free of charge to address these issues.
In the recall notice, Tesla identified 18 warranty claims received between May 2019 and September 2022 that may be related to the conditions described, but said it was “not aware of any incidents or deaths that may be related to such conditions.”
Tesla is not required to remove full self-driving from any vehicles or physically recall the vehicles. The company will simply push out an OTA software update to fix the problems identified in NHTSA’s request.
This is not the first time Tesla has issued a recall for its beta software package. Last year, it issued a similar recall to disable an autonomously governed “rolling stop,” but this one is more detailed.
All Tesla vehicles today come standard with a driver-assist feature called Autopilot, which works on highways. For an additional $15,000, owners can buy the full self-driving option, which Tesla Founder Elon Musk promised will deliver fully autonomous capabilities to Tesla vehicle owners. However, full self-driving remains a “Level 2” advanced driver-assistance system, meaning the driver must stay fully engaged in the vehicle’s operation while in motion.
NHTSA has been investigating Tesla’s driver-assist technology for several years, focusing specifically on a dozen incidents in which Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot crashed into stationary emergency vehicles. That investigation is much more expansive, covering up to 830,000 vehicles.
Musk has been known to resist adding better safeguards to the company’s cars. He previously rejected his own engineers’ calls to add more robust driver monitoring to the company’s cars, calling the tech “ineffective.”