Electric car maker Tesla has initiated a recall in the United States of nearly 54,000 vehicles equipped with the FSD Beta driver assistance system that can continue driving automatically after passing a “Stop” sign instead of coming to a stop complete.
The models concerned are Model 3 built between 2017 and 2022, Model S (2016-2022), Model X (2016-2022) and Model Y (2020-2022). Tesla sent documents to the American traffic safety agency, NHTSA, on January 27, which took note of the recall.
The “rolling stop” functionality, integrated since October 10, 2020 into the FSD Beta driving assistance system, allows the vehicle to continue its course after a “Stop” sign if it is moving at less than 9 km/h, if no other vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian has been detected at the intersection, if the speed of the other roads in the intersection is limited to 50 km/h and if visibility is sufficient.
But after two meetings with the NHTSA, Tesla decided on January 20 to deactivate this program, acknowledging that it was likely “to increase the risk of collision”. The deactivation will be done remotely and free of charge, with affected owners expected to receive a notification mail from the end of March.
Autonomous driving software at the “end of the year”
The manufacturer states that it has no knowledge of any accident, injury or death caused by the use of the feature. When releasing its financial results last week, Tesla said the FSD Beta was now being tested in real-world conditions by more than 60,000 drivers.
The group’s boss, Elon Musk, also estimated on this occasion that fully autonomous driving software was possible “by the end of the year”, a promise already made in the past. The recall follows that of 7,600 Tesla vehicles last November for driver airbag risks, and the much larger one of half a million cars in December for trunk problems.
The company also agreed late last year to disable the feature allowing drivers to play video games while driving. Tesla was under investigation by the NHTSA in this case.