Massive “recall” of 362,000 cars due to serious software bug that caused crashes

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The NHTSA (American traffic safety) is issuing a massive “recall” of Tesla. More than 362,000 of the brand’s electric cars are going to receive a software patch as their autonomous driving mode (FSD) does not respect traffic laws and can even cause accidents in the worst case.

The US Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) has issued a new recall for software defects in Tesla electric cars. According to the US agency, the problems can cause a Tesla car to go in a straight line instead of turning, in some cases. The NHTSA discusses various driving scenarios in its report, such as the situation where the car can drive through an intersection with “stop” signs without coming to a complete stop. Or go through an intersection with solid orange lights without slowing down.

The letter sent by NHTSA to Tesla also tells us that the car can be excessively steered by a mismanagement of the cruise control, which would have misread a limit sign.

Teslas in FSD do not respect the highway code

In short, Tesla cars with FSD mode enabled would not obey traffic laws. At worst, these “mistakes” can lead to accidents. The report tells us that Tesla reportedly received 18 warranty repair requests between 2019 and 2022. The American manufacturer is not aware of any accidents that have caused injuries or deaths.

These malfunctions only occur with Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode, for fully autonomous driving, which is only available in the United States, in beta testing. This still affects 362,758 cars on the road.

Why this reminder is not a real reminder

But beware, this is not a physical reminder. Actually, this recall will not require returning your car to a Tesla dealer. As usual, Elon Musk recalled that Tesla will use the OTA function (for software updates) through the air, deployed directly in the car with Wi-Fi access): “The term “reminder” to describe a software update is anachronistic and just plain wrong. ».

Definitely. The word “retire” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just plain wrong!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2023

What is FSD?

here it comes Full Self-Driving (FSD), for fully autonomous driving, a feature not currently available in Europe. This type of subscription/option is not available in Europe and in particular in France, where you cannot yet use full autonomous driving (FSD). As explained above, the beta version of the program is only available in the United States. In France, however, you can subscribe to the autonomous driving capability option for 7,500 euros, without taking advantage of the features on our roads.

Additionally, Full Autonomous Driving (FSD) is considered Level 2 driving, which requires keeping your hands on the wheel and being active to react if necessary. The NHTSA makes this clear in its report, adding that the driver is responsible for driving. We are not at level 3 of autonomous driving, where it is the manufacturer that is responsible in the event of an accident.

It is only a matter of time, level 3 driving has been legal in France and in Europe since July 2022. A measure that will have required, in particular, to modify the Vienna Convention, a text responsible for regulating road traffic in many regions of the world. including Europe. At the moment, very few cars can offer level 3 autonomous driving. In fact, only the Mercedes S-Class and EQS are equipped with it at the moment.

Note that we often refer to Tesla’s Autopilot, but FSD is offered as a separate option to Autopilot. Their differences? The “fully autonomous driving capability”, or FSD (Full Self Driving), includes all the features of Autopilot with the addition of traffic light and traffic sign recognition.

As you can see in a video below, this allows the car to be driven even in the city, while the autopilot should be used on highways or motorways.

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