NTSA Asks Why Tesla Did Not Issue Recall Before Safety Updates

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to know why Tesla didn’t issue a recall when it delivered a safety update to its software.

A letter published on the NHTSA website says the updates in question include “Tesla’s late September 2021 distribution of functionality to certain Tesla vehicle models intended to improve detection of emergency vehicle lights in low light conditions, and Tesla’s early October 2021 release of the Full Self-Driving Beta Request Menu option.”

NHTSA is currently investigating wrecks that involved Tesla drivers crashing into emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road. In every incident, Tesla’s Autopilot was engaged.

NHTSA wants to know why Tesla waited to deliver a safety fix before it communicated with owners that a safety issue existed.

“As Tesla is aware, the Safety Act imposes an obligation on manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to initiate a recall by notifying NHTSA when they determine vehicles or equipment they produced contain defects related to motor vehicle safety or do not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard,” NHTSA’s note said.

Additionally, NHTSA said it wants more information on Tesla’s recent software update for its Full Self Driving Beta program. In particular, NHTSA wants information on how Tesla selects participants for the FSD software testing.

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