NHTSA launches new investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new investigation to determine if Tesla’s Autopilot recall was effective enough to ensure that drivers remain engaged while the feature is active.

In December, Tesla issued a recall covering over 2 million vehicles, following a two-year investigation by the NHTSA. The recall specifically focused on the Autopilot’s driver monitoring system, which detects whether a driver is holding the steering wheel and whether their attention is on the road ahead through a driver-monitoring camera.

According to the recall documents, Tesla “did not [concur] with the agency’s analysis,” but implemented a fix to resolve the investigation. That fix was an over-the-air (OTA) software update to over 2 million cars to increase the warnings issued to drivers about keeping their hands on the wheel and staying focused on the road.

Now the NHTSA is taking a second look to determine if those fixes were sufficient, according to the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Resume published on Friday, which you can read in full at the bottom of this article.

The ODI Resume says there have been reports of 20 accidents where the vehicles were possibly relying on the automated systems. It is unclear if this 20 includes the 13 crashes that were identified during the original investigation, or if these are 20 new crashes since the OTA update was deployed in December..

The NHTSA is also concerned that some owners can opt into certain parts of the recall remedy.

Additionally, the NHTSA believes some updates released by Tesla after the recall includes features that appear to address the agency’s findings, and will be investigating why these were not initially included in the initial recall.

You can read the full ODI Resume below.

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