Tesla Recalls 2 Million Electric Cars Over Autopilot Misuse Concerns

Over 2 million Tesla vehicles are being recalled due to concerns about driver misuse of the Autopilot feature. The recall affects a wide range of Tesla models, including the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y.

The issue stems from the design of Autopilot, which is intended to be an SAE Level 2 advanced driver-assistance system. This means that the driver is still responsible for the vehicle’s operation and must remain attentive to the road. However, NHTSA is concerned that some drivers may over-rely on Autopilot and fail to intervene when necessary.

The recall will address this issue by implementing a number of software updates. These updates will include:

  • Increased prominence of visual alerts: This will help to remind drivers that they are still responsible for the vehicle’s operation.
  • Simplified engagement and disengagement of Autopilot: This will make it easier for drivers to understand how to use the feature safely.
  • Additional checks upon engaging Autopilot and while using the feature outside controlled access highways and when approaching traffic controls: This will help to ensure that drivers are aware of the limitations of Autopilot.
  • Eventual suspension from Autopilot use if the driver repeatedly fails to demonstrate continuous and sustained driving responsibility while the feature is engaged: This will help to deter drivers from misusing the feature.

Tesla is expected to begin deploying the software updates to affected vehicles on or shortly after December 12, 2023. Owners will be notified by mail and can also check for updates through the Tesla app.

This recall is a significant development in the ongoing debate over the safety of self-driving cars. It highlights the importance of ensuring that drivers understand the limitations of these technologies and are prepared to intervene when necessary.

Here are some additional details about the recall:

  • Number of vehicles affected: 2,031,220
  • Model years affected: 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, 2020-2023 Model Y
  • NHTSA recall number: 23V-838
  • Tesla recall number: SB-23-00-008
  • Remedy: Over-the-air software update
  • Owner notification date: February 10, 2024

For more information, please visit the NHTSA website or the Tesla website.


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