Tesla issues recall for over 2 million cars due to Autopilot issue

December 14, 2023 by

Car changing is a big deal

The free, easy way to change your car online
Rated 4.5/5 from 55,984 reviews

Tesla has issued a US recall to all Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y cars fitted with Autopilot. Read on for all you need to know. 

All Tesla models fitted with Autopilot have been recalled in the USA following a two year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the system could be misused by drivers. Over 2 million cars are affected.

The recall will be issued in the form of an over the air update at no cost to customers. The NHTSA still classes this as a recall despite the fact that there’s no need to go to a workshop.

The issue relates to the Autosteer feature fitted to all cars with Autopilot. The system uses a suite of sensors and cameras to monitor surroundings and control the steering.

When Autopilot is engaged, the driver still has to be fully attentive and ready to take over at any point. If you aren’t paying attention, the car will tell you using visual and audible warnings to keep an eye on the road. The system will also disengage if you continue to not pay attention.

The investigation by the NHTSA found that “in certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse of the advanced driver-assistance feature.”

Essentially this means that the warnings may not be sufficient to make sure the driver is paying attention, which the NHTSA concluded could lead to drivers failing to “maintain
continuous and sustained responsibility for vehicle operation”, meaning they won’t recognise when the system has been cancelled or isn’t working leading to “an increased risk of collision”.

The recall will be administered remotely, meaning there’s no need to visit a workshop. The car’s software will be updated to add more controls and alerts to further encourage the driver to pay attention to the road and keep their hands on the steering wheel.

The update will also make the visual alerts clearer, make it easier to engage and disengage auto steer and the system will perform additional checks when you turn it on to make sure it’s safe. Auto steer will also disengage if the driver repeatedly fails to demonstrate that they’re paying attention.

The NHTSA launched this investigation in August 2021 following 11 incidents in the USA involving Teslas with auto steer engaged. Tesla were fully cooperative with the NHTSA throughout and the recall update will be rolled out throughout December.

In a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) Tesla said: “We at Tesla believe that we have a moral obligation to continue improving our already best-in-class safety systems.

“Regulators around the globe have a duty to protect consumers, and the Tesla team looks forward to continuing our work with them towards our common goal of eliminating as many deaths and injuries as possible on our roadways.”

Tesla models in the UK and Europe aren’t available with Autosteer yet, so this recall doesn’t affect customers in these parts of the world. If and when this feature does become available over here, these updates will be automatically included.

Looking for an easy way to change your car? Then carwow is the place to go. You can sell your old car for a great price, and get the best deals on a new one. All through our network of trusted dealers and all from the comfort of your home. Tap the button below to get started today.