Tesla is recalling 362,758 electric vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta software, the NHTSA disclosed Thursday. The controversial system promises autonomous driving, but has been beset with errors and crashes—sometimes fatal—in real-world driving.
In late January, Tesla was subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department, which requested documents on the American EV maker’s misnamed Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. California effectively banned the use of the phrase this year. In 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called the system “misleading and irresponsible.” The company is facing a class-action lawsuit over the misleading software as well.
It can drive the vehicle in many situations, but not enough for a driver to not be present and be ready to take over.
“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 reported. “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.”
The NHTSA is investigating 41 crashes of Tesla vehicles in which its advanced driver-assist systems were in use, including the standard Autopilot feature that is not as comprehensive as FSD. There have been 19 fatalities in those 41 crashes, according to The New York Times.
The software is a $15,000 option, and the recalled cars encompass all Teslas equipped with the feature. Those models include the following:
2016-2023 Tesla Model S
2016-2023 Tesla Model X
2017-2023 Tesla Model 3
2020-2023 Tesla Model Y
Tesla disagreed with the NHTSA’s findings, but issued a voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution.” Tesla identified 18 warranty claims related to the issue, and says the remedy is an over-the-air software update. The update will cost nothing to owners, and the NHTSA expects it to be deployed in the coming weeks. The update will not disable the software, but the NHTSA says it will improve how FSD Beta negotiates certain driving maneuvers.
Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 or visit Tesla’s recall site.