Tesla’s Massive Recall: Nearly Two Million Cars Called Back Over Faulty Self-Driving Tech
Tesla is recalling nearly 2 million vehicles in the US to curb driver misuse of its controversial Autopilot feature. But despite the massive scale, cars won’t leave roads – rather, an OTA software update aims to rein in overconfidence about its glitchy “self-driving” aids.
The move follows a 2-year National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into almost 1,000 Autopilot-involved crashes. Per the official recall, affected 2012-2023 Model S, X, 3 and Y cars will get notifications emphasizing driver responsibility even when aids like Autosteer are active. Things like more alerts to stay alert, touch the wheel, and generally not treat the car like a fully autonomous pod.
It’s a sober warning that Tesla’s partial self-driving features remain far from ready for unattended use despite their names. Videos abound of Autopilot disengaging randomly mid-drive or crashing dummies under poor testing conditions. Yet Tesla messaging still leads drivers into complacency that these aids are road-trip ready.
Ultimately, the NHTSA found Autopilot does “not live up to its name” in functionality or safety right now.
Tesla hotly contests accusations otherwise, recently defending Autopilot’s crash record on Twitter. They reassert the blame lies with drivers abusing aids specifically not rated for eyes-off travel. Soon after, Tesla agreed to constrain Autosteer use pending proof of driver readiness via wheel/pedal inputs.
With releases TBD, it’s unclear whether recalls will go international or what other safeguards come later. I did reach out about potential Cybertruck changes but don’t expect replies from Tesla’s axed PR department. One thing’s certain though – true autonomous travel remains a fantasy as long as glitchy features like Autopilot shortcut too liberally.
For now, actual human drivers are still essential. Please keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel, Tesla owners!