The federal authorities’s essential auto-safety regulator has opened a preliminary investigation into sudden braking by Tesla automobiles outfitted with a sophisticated driver-assistance system that the corporate calls Autopilot.
The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration stated in a document posted online 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 had been made in 2021 and 2022 and bought in america. The company stated that covers about 416,000 automobiles. The preliminary probe is meant to find out the scope and severity of the issue.
The complaints declare that the automobile “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 probe is the newest security concern that Tesla has been confronted with. Tesla individually earlier this 12 months recalled 54,000 cars equipped with its Full Self-Driving software to disable a function that in sure situations let the automobiles roll slowly by intersections with out stopping. Failing to cease at a cease signal can improve the chance of a crash, the protection company instructed Tesla in a letter.
The company additionally opened a formal investigation last year into Autopilot and the way it identifies objects and different automobiles on the highway. That probe was prompted by 11 incidents during which Teslas working in Autopilot did not cease for and crashed into police automobiles, hearth vans and different emergency automobiles that had flashing lights turned on.
In the previous couple of months, Tesla recalled 12,000 automobiles to appropriate a braking drawback and recalled 458,000 others for 2 separate mechanical defects. It additionally agreed to show off a feature that allowed drivers or front passengers to play video games on the dashboard touch-screen whereas automobile had been in movement. The transfer to show off the online game function got here after the issue was highlighted in The New York Instances and the protection company pressed the corporate to handle it.