The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is stepping up its investigation of failures involving Tesla Autopilot crashing with first responder vehicles. The elevation of the investigation could soon lead to a recall of tons of Teslas.
Back in August of 2021, regulators opened a preliminary investigation into Tesla Autopilot. The Autopilot system had been in a series of accidents involving parked first responder vehicles. At the time, the investigation covered around 765,000 Tesla Model X, Y, S, and 3 vehicles.
But regulators have now expanded their investigation. Now the number of potential vehicles affected has increased to around 830,000.
READ MORE: Teslas are involved in a majority of advanced driver-assist crashes
Additionally, the NHTSA investigation has moved from a “preliminary evaluation” to an “engineering analysis” of Tesla’s Autopilot. Historically, an engineering analysis is a final step before the NHTSA would issue a recall.
Regulators will use the engineering analysis to “explore the degree to which Autopilot and associated Tesla systems may exacerbate human factors or behavioral safety risks by undermining the effectiveness of the driver’s supervision,” according to the NHTSA document.
The NHTSA document says that these model Tesla’s have been involved in 14 crashes with first responders caused by Autopilot, resulting in 15 injuries and one death.
This wouldn’t be the first Tesla recall in the company’s history. The company recalled nearly half a million vehicles back in December over a faulty trunk lid. Then, an FSD issue caused a recall after some Tesla’s weren’t stopping at stop signs.
But this could be the most serious recall of them all. We’ll have to wait and see what the final verdict is from the NHTSA, but it doesn’t look like we’ll have to wait too much longer.
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