The federal authorities’s foremost auto-safety regulator has opened a preliminary investigation into sudden braking by Tesla vehicles outfitted with a complicated driver-assistance system that the corporate calls Autopilot.
The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration mentioned in a document posted online this week that it was performing in response to 354 shopper complaints from the final 9 months about “phantom braking” — when Teslas brake unexpectedly when no hazards are within the highway.
The investigation focuses on Tesla Mannequin 3 compact sedans and Mannequin Y hatchbacks that have been made in 2021 and 2022 and bought in the US. The company mentioned that covers about 416,000 vehicles. The preliminary inquiry is meant to find out the scope and severity of the issue.
The complaints declare that the car “unexpectedly applies its brakes whereas driving at freeway speeds,” the protection company wrote in a abstract of the investigation. “Complainants report that the speedy deceleration can happen with out warning, at random, and infrequently repeatedly.”
Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The investigation is the newest security concern that Tesla has been confronted with. Individually this 12 months, Tesla recalled 54,000 vehicles outfitted with its Full Self-Driving software program to disable a function that in sure circumstances let the autos roll slowly by means of intersections with out stopping. Failing to cease at a cease signal can improve the chance of a crash, the protection company informed Tesla in a letter.
The company additionally opened a proper investigation final 12 months into Autopilot and the way it identifies objects and different autos on the highway. That inquiry was prompted by 11 incidents through which Teslas working in Autopilot didn’t cease for and crashed into police vehicles, hearth vans and different emergency autos that had flashing lights turned on.
In the previous few months, Tesla recalled 12,000 vehicles to appropriate a braking drawback and recalled 458,000 others for 2 separate mechanical defects. It additionally agreed to show off a function that allowed drivers or entrance passengers to play video video games on the dashboard touch-screen whereas automotive have been in movement. The issue had been highlighted in The New York Instances, and the protection company pressed the corporate to handle it.