According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a preliminary inquiry has been launched into unexpected braking by Tesla vehicles equipped with a sophisticated driver-assistance technology known as Autopilot, which the firm developed.
As detailed in a document posted online this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was taking action in response to 354 consumer complaints received over the last nine months about “phantom braking,” which occurs when Tesla vehicles brake unexpectedly when there are no hazards on the road.
Aims of the study include Tesla Model 3 compact sedans and Model Y hatchbacks that were manufactured in 2021 and marketed in the United States in 2022, respectively. According to the organisation, this covers around 416,000 automobiles. The preliminary investigation is being conducted in order to identify the breadth and severity of the situation, among other things.
According to the complaints, the car “unexpectedly applies its brakes while travelling at highway speeds,” according to a summary of the inquiry published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A quick deceleration may occur without notice, at random, and often in a repetitive manner according to the complainants.
The probe is the latest in a series of safety concerns that Tesla has had to deal with recently. As part of its Full Self-Driving software recall this year, Tesla recalled 54,000 vehicles equipped with the software in order to deactivate a function that allowed the vehicles to move slowly past intersections without stopping under certain scenarios. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, failing to stop at a stop sign might increase the chance of an accident.
In addition, the EPA launched a formal examination into Autopilot and how it distinguishes between objects and other cars on the road last year. That investigation was initiated by 11 occurrences in which Teslas running on Autopilot failed to stop for and collided into police cars, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles that had their flashing lights activated, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
In the previous six months, Tesla has recalled 12,000 vehicles to remedy a brake issue, as well as 458,000 vehicles for two distinct mechanical faults that were discovered. Also agreed upon was the removal of an optional feature that enabled drivers or front passengers to play video games on the dashboard touch-screen while the vehicle was in motion. As a result of the issue being reported in The New York Times, the corporation was pressured by the safety agency to rectify it.