Tesla has announced the recall of certain 2016–2023 Model S, Model X; 2017–2023 Model 3; and 2020–2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software or those pending installation. Federal safety regulators have expressed concern that this system may allow vehicles to behave unsafely around intersections, resulting in crashes.
The recall was posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Tesla vehicles come standard with a driver-assistance system branded Autopilot called Full Self-Driving Beta. FSD includes a number of automated driving features that still require the driver to be ready to take control at all times. It includes the parking feature Summon as well as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from a highway on-ramp to an off-ramp, including interchanges and lane changes. The system is also supposed to handle steering on city streets, recognize, and react to traffic lights and stop signs.
According to the notice, the FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafely 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. 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 notice said.
The issue was discovered during the NHTSA’s engineering analysis and testing of the system. The NHTSA said it found that in certain situations, Tesla’s Autosteer on City Streets features led to an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety based on insufficient adherence to traffic safety laws. “Tesla launched a recall to repair those defects, as required by law and following discussions with the NHTSA,” the agency said in an emailed statement.
It is clear that more research needs to be done before these systems can become fully integrated into society without posing any risks whatsoever. It will also be interesting to see what changes come out of NHTSA’s investigation regarding Teslas’ FSD feature, so hopefully, we will get answers soon on how best to address this issue going forward.