WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tesla is recalling more than two million vehicles – nearly every model it has sold in the United States – to correct a defective system that is supposed to make sure that drivers are paying attention when using the Autopilot feature. The company plans to wirelessly update each car’s software.
The recall covers Y, S, 3 and X models built from Oct. 5, 2012 to Dec. 12, 2023. It comes after a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration traced 956 crashes, some of them fatal.
“The recall is critically needed to make Tesla’s car safer, but it is egregiously overdue,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in a statement issued jointly with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA).
“We have long sounded alarms about Tesla exaggerating the true capabilities of Autopilot and other flawed features. We urge NHTSA to continue its investigations to spur necessary recalls, and Tesla to stop misleading drivers and putting the public in great danger.”
NHTSA determined that Tesla hasn’t done enough to make sure drivers are attentive with the Autopilot engaged. The system can steer, accelerate and brake vehicle automatically, and is designed for highway use. Drivers are told they should nonetheless keep their hands on the wheel and take over if anything goes amiss.
NHTSA’s concern is that the automaker failed to do enough to prevent drivers from misusing the system.
Tesla has already begun updating software on recalled vehicles.
(Photos courtesy of Tesla)