According to a statement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a formal investigation has been opened into 416,000 Tesla vehicles following reports of unexpected brake activation resulting from its driver assistance system Autopilot.
NHTSA said the vehicles under review have a advanced driver assistance system. Tesla’s Autopilot system, which allows it to brake and steer automatically while in its lane.
After receiving 354 complaints about this over the past nine months, the agency has made a preliminary evaluation of 2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y models.
It is reported to the NHTSA that the sudden deceleration occurs without notice, at random, and in many cases repeatedly in a single drive cycle.”
A few weeks ago, NHTSA confirmed it was investigating consumer complaints regarding Tesla vehicles were activatating the brakes unnecessarily. Preliminary evaluations are required before NHTSA could issue a formal recall request.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s owner and CEO, said dropping a radar sensor from its partly automated driving system would resolve the problem of “phantom braking,” which some Tesla drivers have long complained about.
The company did not respond to a comment request after dissolving its media relations department.Since October, Tesla has issued 10 recalls, including some under pressure from NHTSA.
NHTSA is investigating several Tesla issues.Nearly 12,000 Teslas sold in the United States since 2017 were recalled in November because a communications error could cause a false forward-collision warning or unexpected emergency braking.
On Oct. 23, a software update prompted the recall for vehicles in the limited version of the Full-Self Driving (FSD) (Beta) early access program.
Tesla and NHTSA say that the FSD does not make cars autonomous, but it is an advanced driver assistance system that assists some driving tasks.
NHTSA launches safety probe into Tesla’s autopilot system in 765,000 US cars in August. Several Tesla vehicles and emergency vehicles have been involved in crashes.
During an October inspection by NHTSA, Tesla was asked why it hadn’t issued a recall regarding software updates to its Autopilot driver-assistance system. The updates are supposed to improve Autopilot’s ability to detect emergency vehicles.