Tesla is recalling two million of its electric vehicles over fears that its popular Autopilot feature could be putting drivers in danger.
The Elon Musk-led brand is recalling over two million vehicles in the United States fitted with its Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the system was open to “foreseeable misuse”.
It has been investigating Tesla for more than two years in response to concerns about whether the electric vehicles adequately ensure that drivers pay attention when using the system.
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Tesla said the Autopilot’s software system controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse” and could increase the risk of a crash.
The Autopilot feature allows drivers to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within their lane, while an enhanced system can assist in changing lanes on motorways.
One vital component of the Autopilot is Autosteer, which maintains a set speed or following distance, although this does not make the car autonomous.
In response to the recall, Tesla said it would update software to boost safeguards, although it did question the NHTSA’s analysis.
The over-the-air update 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”.
According to Reuters, Tesla did not confirm whether the recall would affect vehicles outside of the United States.
Speaking in August, Ann Carlson, acting NHTSA administrator, said it was “really important that driver monitoring systems take into account that humans over-trust technology.”
The update will happen automatically and does not require the driver to take the vehicle to a garage, although it is still considered a recall.
The recall applies to almost every Tesla sold in the US since the Autopilot feature was launched eight years ago.
Tesla, nor its CEO Elon Musk, have taken to social media to address the recall notice, despite many calls to comment on the situation from vehicle owners.
This is the second Tesla recall notice of the year after the Austin-based brand recalled 363,000 vehicles over issues with the self-driving software.
Motorists in the United States were hit with the recall notice, followed by an update to its Full Self Drive Beta software.
The NHTSA said the vehicles did not adhere to traffic safety laws and could cause crashes when the software was active.
Commenting at the time, Elon Musk took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to criticise the decision, saying: “The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”
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