Tesla has to repair more than 50,000 of its electric cars in the USA that are equipped with the beta version of the software ‘Full Self-Driving’. The reason is that the software enables rolling stops at intersections and does not completely stop the car before a stop sign.
The issue is one that is discussed even with human drivers, as a rolling stop is not technically allowed, but not routinely prosecuted. However, the issue can be very dangerous if done by a system that does not recognize its entire surroundings, as other traffic participants tend to rely on drivers following the rules. In addition, it is prohibited by law in all states, despite the misleading nickname ‘California Stop’. This is due to California’s ‘right on red’ regulation, which allows traffic to turn right at an intersection despite a red light if traffic permits.
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall covers some 2016-2022 Model S and Model X, 2017-2022 Model 3, and 2020-2022 Model Y vehicles. However, as is typical for Tesla, this is not a classic recall: Tesla will instead be fixing the problem via a software update, which has already begun to roll out.
Elon Musk responded on Twitter that “there were no safety issues” with the function. “The car simply slowed to ~2 mph & continued forward if clear view with no cars or pedestrians,” Musk wrote. The NHTSA responded by noting that federal law “prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including intentional design choices that are unsafe”.
It seems that Tesla is running into software issues more regularly now that production is established on a global scale, as in November, Tesla recalled nearly 12,000 U.S. vehicles sold since 2017 for another software update because a communication error could cause a false forward-collision warning or unexpected activation of the emergency brakes. Just a month ago, Tesla recalled another 675,000 Model 3 and Model S in the USA and China due to the rear camera being affected by opening and closing the trunk.
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