Tesla issues OTA recall to improve Autopilot safeguards on over 2 million vehicles

Tesla has issued a new recall that will improve the safeguards and prevent misuse of the Autopilot system. The recall impacts over 2 million vehicles, but it will not require a physical service visit with the improved features being added through a free over-the-air (OTA) software update.

For more than two years the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been conducting an exhaustive investigation into a series of collisions where Tesla vehicles collided with stationary emergency vehicles with Autopilot engaged. As part of their investigation the agency was looking into whether Tesla’s safeguards to prevent misuse of the Autopilot system were adequate.

The investigation has finally come to a conclusion this week, with the agency essentially clearing Autopilot of blame, but noting that its “feature controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”

According to the recall document, which you can find below, Tesla met with NHTSA several times between October 16th and December 4th to discuss how to address the agency’s concerns. After some back and forth the two parties reached an agreement on December 5th, although Tesla noted they did “not [concur] with the agency’s analysis.”

The new Autopilot safeguards will be included in software update 2023.44.30, set to be deployed this week. It will include:

  • Additional controls and alerts for Autosteer engagement
  • Measures to encourage continuous driving responsibility
  • Prominence of visual alerts on the user interface
  • Simplified engagement and disengagement of Autosteer (Single-Pull Autosteer)
  • Additional checks during Autosteer engagement outside controlled access highways and approaching traffic controls
  • Eventual suspension from Autosteer for repeated failure to demonstrate continuous driving responsibility

You can read the full recall notice below.

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