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Why Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles

Tesla is upgrading its ‘full self-driving’ program over safety concerns

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A 2021 Model 3 sedan sits in a near-empty lot.

A 2021 Model 3 sedan sits in a near-empty lot at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo., on June 27, 2021. Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles because their “Full Self-Driving” software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt. Documents posted Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, by U.S. safety regulators say that Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update.

David Zalubowski, Associated Press

Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 cars and SUVs because the “full self-driving” feature program slowly rolls through stop signs instead of coming to a complete stop.

  • The recall that Tesla will update the software over the internet pertains to Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles, according to The Associated Press.

The technology allows these cars to obey traffic rules like stopping for red lights but in some cases, it has been inconsistent, alarming users. The “rolling stop” feature allows vehicles to go through intersections with stop signs at up to 5.6 miles per hour.

“Failing to stop at a stop sign can increase the risk of a crash,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a letter to Tesla confirming the recall, which was made public on Tuesday.

  • “The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including intentional design choices that are unsafe,” the agency said. “If the information shows that a safety risk may exist, NHTSA will act immediately.”

Per CNN, Tesla’s “full self-driving” feature requires an attentive driver who is ready to take full control of the car at any given time.

Tesla’s “full self-driving” software, which costs $12,000, is still in its test phase and requires active engagement by a human driver. Only a select few customers, appropriately 60,000, are allowed to use it, according to The New York Times.

The NHTSA is also investigating Tesla’s “auto-pilot” driver-assist system which has allowed cars to repeatedly crash into emergency vehicles parked on roadways, per The Associated Press.

Musk believes this software will allow the cars to drive more safely than humans by the end of this year.