Tesla is recalling over two million vehicles currently operating on U.S. roads. According to CNN, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) informed the company that its recall would be publicized in a letter sent on Tuesday, December 12.
What Prompted The Recall?
According to the NHTSA‘s letter, TESLA/MODEL 3/2017-2023, TESLA/MODEL S/2012-2023, TESLA/MODEL X/2016-2023, and TESLA/MODEL Y/2020-2023 are included in the company’s recall.
The letter explains that the recall was prompted by an issue with the vehicles’ autosteer feature.
“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse of the… advanced driver-assistance feature,” the letter reads.
Furthermore, a crash may occur if the autosteer feature fails while in use and a driver is unaware.
“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, and the driver does not maintain responsibility for vehicle operation and is unprepared to intervene as necessary or fails to recognize when Autosteer is canceled or not engaged, there may be an increased risk of a crash,” the letter explains.
More Details Regarding Prior Crashes
According to AP News, Tesla’s recall arrives two years after the NHTSA opened an investigation into Teslas that crashed while using the autosteer feature.
The outlet adds that some incidents were fatal. A July 2022 crash led to the death of Pablo Teodoro III, 57. AP News reports that Teodoro III passed away after his Tesla “that was using Autopilot ran underneath a crossing tractor-trailer.”
Additionally, the vehicle was reportedly traveling at 70 miles per hour, which was 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Furthermore, the outlet notes that Teodoro’s vehicle allegedly notified him to take control of the car. However, the vehicle did not employ its Automatic Emergency Braking feature.
Teodoro was unable to stop the car before impact.
“Our investigation also determined that the driver would have had adequate time and distance to avoid the crash had he been traveling at the speed limit,” Jeffrey Long, spokesman for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, explained. “The full investigation concluded that the driver would have had more than adequate time to brake and even come to a complete stop.”
How Many Vehicles Are Affected By The Current Recall & What Happens Next?
According to the NHTSA‘s December 12 letter, the total number of vehicles affected by the recall is approximately 2,031,220. Tesla will release an over-the-air (OTA) software update for “affected vehicles,” per the NHTSA”s Safety Recall Report.
AP News reports that this update will “limit where Autosteer can be used.”
“If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alert the driver it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts, and Autosteer will not engage,” the NHTSA”s Safety Recall Report reads.
Additionally, if the autosteer is employed and driving conditions alter, drivers will be given “visual and audible alerts… to intervene immediately.”
“Likewise, if the driver operates Autosteer in conditions where its functionality may be limited or has become deteriorated due to environmental or other circumstances, the feature may warn the driver with visual and audible alerts, restrict speed, and/or instruct the driver to intervene immediately.”
According to the NHTSA‘s letter, Tesla is expected to mail notification letters to affected vehicle owners by February 10, 2024.
For more information, Tesla owners may contact customer service at 877-798-3752 with the recall number SB-23-00-008. Additionally, Tesla owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
NBC News reports that the NHTSA’s investigation into Tesla “remains open” at this time.