The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall notice for 362,758 Tesla vehicles in the USA equipped with the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta system because it believes the software may be responsible for accidents. Tesla has agreed to recall the vehicles.
The NHTSA issued the following recall notice summary: ‘Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2016-2023 Model S, Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software or pending installation. The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution. In addition, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits or not adequately account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.’
The NHTSA has four main issues with the OEM’s FSD Beta: 1) Traveling or turning through certain intersections during a stale yellow traffic light; 2) The perceived duration of the vehicle’s static position at certain intersections with a stop sign, particularly when the intersection is clear of any other road users; 3) Adjusting vehicle speed while traveling through certain variable-speed zones, based on detected speed limit signage and/or the vehicle’s speed offset setting that is adjusted by the driver; 4) Negotiating a lane change out of certain turn-only lanes to continue traveling straight.
Despite having released a plethora of new software updates to enhance the safety of FSD Beta, Tesla has not yet managed to resolve these behaviors.
The NHTSA first raised the software issue with Tesla on January 25, 2023, which resulted in the OEM meeting with regulators to discuss the Beta several times until February 7, 2023. Despite disagreeing with the NHTSA’s notice, the electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturer decided to carry out the voluntary recall ‘out of an abundance of caution’.
Tesla is scheduled to deploy a free over-the-air update in the coming weeks. As outlined in the recall notice, Tesla’s OTA software update will ‘improve how FSD Beta negotiates certain driving maneuvers during the conditions described above’.