US REGULATORS SEEK ANSWERS FROM TESLA OVER LACK OF RECALL
Techlife News|October 16, 2021
U.S. safety investigators want to know why Tesla didn’t file recall documents when it updated Autopilot software to better identify parked emergency vehicles, escalating a simmering clash between the automaker and regulators.
In a letter to Tesla, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told the electric car maker Tuesday that it must recall vehicles if an over-the-internet update deals with a safety defect.

“Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA,” the agency said in a letter to Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of field quality.

The agency also ordered Tesla to provide information about its “Full Self-Driving” software that’s being tested on public roads with some owners.

The latest clash is another sign of escalating tensions between Tesla and the agency that regulates vehicle safety and partially automated driving systems.

In August the agency opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot after getting multiple reports of vehicles crashing into emergency vehicles with warning lights flashing that were stopped on highways. The software can keep cars in their lane and a safe distance from vehicles in front of them.

Messages were left early Wednesday seeking comment from Tesla.

NHTSA opened a formal investigation of Autopilot after a series of collisions with parked emergency vehicles. The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, almost everything that Tesla has sold in the U.S. since the start of the 2014 model year. Of the dozen crashes that are part of the probe, 17 people were injured and one was killed.

According to the agency, Tesla did an over-the-internet software update in late September that was intended to improve detection of emergency vehicle lights in low-light conditions. The agency says Tesla is aware that federal law requires automakers to do a recall if they find out that vehicles have safety defects.

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