Tesla recalls 362,000 vehicles for self-driving crash risk

Move was made in rare intervention by federal regulators

Tesla is recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles with its Full Self-Driving system to fix problems with the way it behaves around intersections and following posted speed limits. AP
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Tesla is recalling 362,000 vehicles to update its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software after US regulators said on Thursday the driver assistance system did not adequately follow traffic safety laws and could cause crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the Tesla software allows a vehicle to “exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner”, which “increases the risk of a crash”.

The move is a rare intervention by federal regulators in a real-world testing programme that the company sees as crucial to the development of cars that can drive themselves. FSD Beta is used by hundreds of thousands of Tesla customers.

Tesla will release an over-the-air software update free of charge, and the electric vehicle maker said is not aware of any injuries or deaths that may be related to the recall issue.

The setback for Tesla's automated driving effort comes about two weeks before the company's March 1 investor day, during which chief executive Elon Musk is expected to promote the EV maker's artificial intelligence capability and plans to expand its vehicle line-up.

NHTSA has an ongoing investigation it opened in 2021 into 830,000 Tesla vehicles with driver assistance system Autopilot over a string of crashes with parked emergency vehicles.

Possible situations where the problem could occur include travelling or turning through certain intersections during a yellow traffic light and making a lane change out of certain turn-only lanes to continue travelling straight, NHTSA said.

Last year, Tesla recalled nearly 54,000 vehicles with FSD Beta software that may allow some models to conduct “rolling stops” and not come to a complete stop at some intersections, posing a safety risk, NHTSA said.

Tesla and NHTSA say FSD's advanced driving features do not make the cars autonomous and require drivers to pay attention.

Meanwhile, several employees at a Tesla factory in New York were fired a day after launching union organising efforts, according to Tesla Workers United.

Members filed a complaint against Tesla with the National Labour Relations Board, accusing the electric vehicle maker of unfair labour practices.

Updated: February 16, 2023, 8:08 PM