Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta software has caused both elation and consternation in equal measure, impressing with its abilities but also exhibiting some worrying driving behaviours. The latter has drawn the scrutiny of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has finally forced Tesla to fix its issues by recalling all vehicles fitted with the Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system.
The recall involves a total of 362,758 units of the 2016 to 2023 Tesla Model S and Model X, 2017 to 2023 Model 3 and 2020 to 2023 Model Y. It fixes certain problematic tendencies of the FSD Beta that could cause it to break traffic laws before the driver could intervene.
These include passing through or turning at intersections during a steady yellow traffic light (yes, kids, you’re not actually supposed to speed up on yellow to beat a red light), not stopping at a stop sign when there are no cars around, reacting insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits and, most worryingly, negotiating out of turn-only lanes to go straight.
Interestingly, this isn’t a recall in the traditional sense—instead of requesting customers to go to a service centre for the fix, Tesla is simply pushing out a software update in the coming weeks for the affected vehicles. However, owners will still get a notification letter, which will be mailed to them by April 15.
The NHTSA said the recall is related to an investigation opened on June 8, as a result of Teslas with Autopilot engaged crashing into stationary emergency vehicles tending to accidents. The evaluation was then expanded to evaluate other instances of Autopilot-related crashes, as well as assessing driver monitoring systems when the function was activated. While the agency is known to be looking into phantom braking incidents, another dangerous characteristic of the FSD Beta, but they were not listed in its recall documents.