NHTSA closes investigation into Tesla’s ‘Passenger Play’ without further action

passenger play
Credit: The Verge

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has officially closed its investigation into Tesla’s “Passenger Play” feature, which as the name implies allowed passengers to play games in the Tesla Arcade while the vehicle was in motion. However the feature was abused with no safeguards in place to prevent drivers from also playing games while driving.

The investigation was first launched in December 2021, and covered more than 580,000 Model S, 3, X, and Y vehicles produced since 2017. Tesla promptly removed the feature a month later through an over-the-air (OTA) software update. According to the NHTSA the feature has now been removed from 97% of the affected vehicles, which was enough for them to close their investigation without further action. (via Reuters)

The NHTSA said that closing the investigation without an official recall was not an indication that “no safety-related defect exists,” but rather that its investigation found “significant concerns about driver distraction during the time [Passenger Play] was available.” According to their findings “apparent driver use of Passenger Play while not in park” took place in one third of “the trips in which the feature was in use.”

The NHTSA added however that it may take “further action, if warranted,” in the future.

Since the update to remove Passenger Play was deployed, the games in the Tesla Arcade can be played by either the driver or passenger, but only while the car is in Park.

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