Tesla recalls 2 mn vehicles in US. Why the move & other details to know

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Elon Musk’s Tesla is recalling more than 2 million (20 lakh) models sold by it in the United States, with the move coming over safety concerns flagged by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal safety regulator in the US.

The logo of car manufacturer Tesla (REUTERS)
The logo of car manufacturer Tesla (REUTERS)

What is the issue?

The recall follows a 2-year NHTSA-led investigation into a series of Tesla vehicle crashes – some of these were fatal – that happened even as the Autopilot partially automated driving system was in use. According to the agency, its investigation found that the Autopilot’s method of ensuring that drivers were paying attention while the system was on, were ‘inadequate,’ and, therefore, can lead to a ‘foreseeable misuse of the system.’

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Some added control and alerts, the NHTSA report said, will ‘further encourage the drivers to their continuous driving responsibility.’ Accordingly, Tesla has recalled its models to fix the said ‘defect.’

What is Tesla’s position?

The company, however, stressed that it was not in agreement with the regulator’s analysis. Still, the Musk-led manufacturer said in a statement that it will ‘incorporate additional controls and alerts to those already existing on affected vehicles to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged.’

Autosteer, a component of the Autopilot, maintains a set speed or a set following distance, and works to keep a vehicle in the correct driving lane.

How big is the recall?

The largest such move in Tesla’s history covers nearly all of its vehicles on the US roads. The models impacted are Y, S, 3, and X produced between October 7, 2012, and December 7, 2023.

What have the victims said?

At least one victim, Dillon Angulo, who suffered serious injuries in a 2019 crash, has spoken out.

“This technology is not safe, we have to get it off the road. The government has to do something about it. We can’t be experimenting like this,” said Angelo, who suffered brain trauma and broken bones in an accident that happened along a rural stretch of Florida highway where the software is not supposed to be deployed.

Tesla recall policy

Tesla vehicles come with a 4-year warranty. In case of a recall, therefore, the service to address the detected issue is provided for free regardless of the vehicle age or mileage.

(With agency inputs)

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