Tesla Autopilot recall of 2m vehicles will trigger over-the-air update

by | Dec 13, 2023 | 0 comments

tesla recall

The high profile recall of some 2 million Tesla vehicles in the U.S. over Autopilot safety concerns will trigger an over-the-air update fix, documents from U.S. safety regulators say.

The recall comes after a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into a series of crashes that happened while the Autopilot system was in use.

Transport Canada has stated that the recall affects 193,000 vehicles sold in Canada.

Autopilot can steer, accelerate and brake automatically in its lane, but is a driver-assist system. Reportedly, independent tests have found that the monitoring system is easy to fool, with cases uncovered of drivers being impaired or sitting the back seat while the system remains engaged.

NHTSA has probed the role of Tesla’s self-driving features on numerous occasion in the past. In its most recent investigation NHTSA looked at dozens of incidents, some causing death.

Misuse of the Tesla Autopilot is not an exclusive U.S. phenomenon though.

A highly circulated 2022 video of a Tesla driver in Ontario appeared to show the individual asleep behind the wheel with the driver’s seat reclined.

In 2020 20-year-old British Columbia man was charged after Alberta RCMP received a call about a Tesla travelling at more than 140 km/h with both front seats reclined all the way back and the driver and passenger asleep.

Drivers are required to maintain control of the vehicle with the hands on the steering wheel even with the The Autopilot systems, emphasized regulators,

In it’s characteristic understated style, the safety agency, Tesla said Autopilot’s controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”

The Tesla recall details that:

“At no cost to customers, affected vehicles will receive an over-the-air software remedy, which is expected to begin deploying to certain affected vehicles on or shortly after December 12, 2023, with software version 2023.44.30. Remaining affected vehicles will receive an over-the-air software remedy at a later date. The remedy will incorporate additional controls and alerts to those already existing on affected vehicles to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged, which includes keeping their hands on the steering wheel and paying attention to the roadway.

“Depending on vehicle hardware, the additional controls will include, among others, increasing the prominence of visual alerts on the user interface, simplifying engagement and disengagement of Autosteer, additional checks upon engaging Autosteer and while using the feature outside controlled access highways and when approaching traffic controls, and eventual suspension from Autosteer use if the driver repeatedly fails to demonstrate continuous and sustained driving responsibility while the feature is engaged.”

The software 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 recall documents said.

Depending on a Tesla’s hardware, the added controls include “increasing prominence” of visual alerts, simplifying how Autosteer is turned on and off, and additional checks on whether Autosteer is being used outside of controlled access roads and when approaching traffic control devices. A driver could be suspended from using Autosteer if they repeatedly fail “to demonstrate continuous and sustained driving responsibility,” the documents say.


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