Tesla is pushing software updates to over 2 million vehicles in the US — or almost every Model S, Y, X, and 3 ever sold in the country — to address a defect in the company’s Autopilot system. On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall notice for the vehicles following a two-year investigation into a series of collisions that occurred involving Tesla vehicles using Autopilot, which comes as standard on every new Tesla.
“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse,” the agency said in the recall statement, noting that this could lead to an “increased risk of a collision.”
The notice applies to the following vehicle models equipped with Autosteer, a driver-assist feature included within Tesla’s basic Autopilot package:
Despite being identified as a “product recall” by NHTSA, Tesla aims to fix impacted vehicles with an over-the-air software update, which it said will roll out “on or shortly after” December 12th. The update, identified as software version 2023.44.30, is being issued at no cost to customers and involves adding additional controls and alerts to prompt drivers to be in full control of the car when Autosteer is enabled. The update also limits Autosteer use “when conditions are not met for engagement,” preventing the feature from being used entirely in some cases.
Nine warranty claims have been identified with connections to the Autosteer defect
According to the recall documents, Tesla met with NHTSA several times between October 16th and December 4th to discuss how to address the agency’s concerns, reaching an agreement on proposed remedies on December 5th despite Tesla “not concurring with the agency’s analysis.” Tesla has identified nine warranty claims that “may be related” to the Autosteer defects as of December 8th.
While not technically a true recall, Tesla has already issued several genuine recalls and software updates in 2023 involving hardware defects and its driver-assist systems. In all, over 50 crash investigations have been opened by NHTSA since 2016 involving Tesla cars that are suspected to be linked to Autopilot.