Tesla has issued a voluntary recall for 362,758 of its electric vehicles in the U.S. to fix an issue with its Full Self-Driving (FSD Beta) software. If not addressed, the vehicles are at risk of causing an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y vehicles from the 2016 through 2023 model years that have Tesla’s driver-assistance FSD software.
“The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,” the NHTSA said. “In addition, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits or not adequately account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.”
As of February 14, 2023, Tesla had identified 18 incidents linked to the conditions outlined in the recall, with none involving injuries or deaths. The incident reports were submitted between May 2019 and September 2022.
The issue will be fixed via a free over-the-air update sent out by Tesla. Notification letters will be sent to affected customers by mid-April, 2023. The issue can be discussed with a Tesla customer service representative by calling 1-877-798-3752. Tesla’s number for the recall is SB-23-00-001.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has often complained that issues that can be fixed via an over-the-air update should not be described as a recall, a word that in many people’s minds suggests the car needs to be taken to a garage for repairs.
Responding to this latest event, Musk tweeted that using the word “recall” for an over-the-air software update “is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”
However, the NHTSA pointed out that according to the current rules, automakers “must initiate a recall for any repair, including a software update, that remedies an unreasonable risk to safety.”
To use FSD, Tesla owners have to fork out $15,000 or $199 per month. To access FSD Beta, drivers need to have a high driver-safety score, as calculated by Tesla software that monitors driving behavior.
Tesla’s FSD Beta is like a more advanced version of Tesla’s Autopilot, and includes features such as “autosteer on city streets,” which enables a Tesla to autonomously handle more complex urban environments. However, even if the feature is engaged, the driver remains responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle and must supervise the drive at all times, intervening if necessary.