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U.S. investigates 416,000 Tesla vehicles over unexpected braking reports -Breaking

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© Reuters. One Tesla sign was pictured at the Tesla Gigafactory 2 location in Buffalo (New York), U.S.A, Feb 13, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), announced Thursday that it will open a formal investigation into 416,000 Tesla vehicles (NASDAQ:). This is in response to reports of unanticipated brake activation related to Autopilot’s driver assistance system.

After receiving 354 complaints over the last nine months, NHTSA has now completed a preliminary evaluation of 2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 & Model Y cars in America. NHTSA stated that the cars under consideration have an advanced driver aid system called Autopilot by Tesla that allows them brake and steer in accordance with its lanes.

NHTSA stated that “Complainants have reported rapid accelerations without warning and at random in one drive cycle”

Tesla has denied the owners’ concerns, saying that the braking system is safe and normal. Others have called it “phantom brake”.

NHTSA received a report in October from the owner of a Model Y 2021 Tesla Model Y. He said that when driving at 80 mph, his car braked and decelerated in less than a second. “The braking was so strong that my head moved forward, and almost gave up control of the vehicle,” said NHTSA’s October 2021 Tesla Model Y owner.

After a string of accidents involving Tesla vehicles and emergency vehicles, the NHTSA opened an official safety probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system.

NHTSA revealed earlier in the month it was reviewing complaints by Tesla drivers that their vehicles activated their brakes excessively. NHTSA will conduct a preliminary assessment before it can make a formal recall order.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer said in May that removing a radar sensor of its partially-automated driving system would fix “phantom brake,” which many Tesla drivers had long complained about. Tesla has disbanded the media relations section.

NHTSA is increasingly looking into Tesla. The agency has investigated several issues. Tesla issued 10 recalls between October and November, many of them for software bugs.

Jonathan Adkins, executive Director of Governors Highway Safety Association (the group that represents states highway safety agencies), stated on Twiter, “another day. Another issue with Tesla.” This is a good thing to see NHTSA be more proactive in reining the company in.

Tesla recalls nearly 12,000 U.S. cars sold between 2017 and November due to a communication problem that could have caused a false forward collision warning or an unexpected activation for the emergency brakes.

This recall came about after an Oct. 23 software update to vehicles that were part of the limited early access 10.3 Full Self Driving version (Beta).

FSD, an advanced driver assistant system, handles certain driving tasks. Tesla and NHTSA disagree that it makes vehicles autonomous.

NHTSA had asked Tesla in October why Tesla hadn’t issued a recall for software updates to Autopilot driver assistance system that improved vehicles’ detection of emergency vehicles.

Tesla recalls 578,607 U.S. cars last week because of the possibility that pedestrians might not hear the required warning sounds from approaching vehicles due to excessive music and other sounds produced by “Boombox”.

Musk stated last week that “the fun cops made it happen (sigh).

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