Tesla recalling more than 360,000 cars over potential crash risk, agency says

The cars are equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta software.

February 16, 2023, 1:46 PM

Tesla is recalling up to 362,758 cars equipped with its Full Self-Driving Beta software or pending installation over concerns it can increase the risk of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday.

"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 agency said.

"FSD Beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash," the agency added.

The recall will affect some Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Tesla will offer a software update free of charge to customers, the agency said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The carmaker is facing scrutiny from federal and state officials over how it has advertised its self-driving technology, as well as concern over safety risks involved with the self-driving capability.

The FSD software doesn't make a car fully autonomous. Rather, drivers must remain focused on the road and keep their hands on the driving wheel. The Autopilot system, meanwhile, offers navigation to and from user-provided destinations, as well as suggestions for lane changes and other maneuvers to optimize a trip.

Tesla has come under sharp criticism over its marketing of the FSD software and Autopilot features.

Earlier this month, the California Department of Motor Vehicles alleged that the company deceptively advertises the products as fully autonomous, according to two filings with California's Office of Administrative Hearings. The filings were first reported by The Los Angeles Times.

Similarly, Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., last year called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla's advertising of its FSD software.

"Tesla's marketing has repeatedly overstated the capabilities of its vehicles, and these statements increasingly pose a threat to motorists and other users of the road," Markey and Blumenthal said in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan.

In response to the letter, Tesla senior director of public policy, Rohan Patel, said in March: "Tesla's Autopilot and FSD Capability features enhance the ability of our cusotmes [sic] to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S." The response was first reported by Reuters.

Tesla vehicles operating under the Autopilot system were involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly a yearlong period ending in June, according to data released that month by the NHTSA. Tesla vehicles comprised almost 70% of the crashes involving advanced driver-assisted systems over that period, the data showed.

In August, Tesla raised the price of its Full Self-Driving software to $15,000.

ABC News' Clara McMichael contributed reporting.

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