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Auto safety regulator investigates Tesla Autopilot recall| GuyWhoKnowsThings


The federal government's top auto safety agency said Friday it was investigating Tesla's recall of its Autopilot driver-assist system because regulators were concerned the company had not done enough to ensure drivers remained attentive. while using technology.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its website that it was investigating the Tesla situation. remember in December of two million vehicles, covering almost all the cars the company had made in the United States since 2012. The safety agency said it was concerned about accidents that took place after the recall and the test results preliminary results of the retired vehicles.

The investigation adds to a list of headaches for Tesla, the dominant electric vehicle maker in the United States. The company's sales fell more than 8 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period a year earlier, the first such drop since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla announced in December that it would retire its Autopilot software after an investigation by the auto safety agency found that the automaker had not implemented enough safety measures to ensure that the system, which can accelerate, brake and control the automobiles in other ways, was used safely by drivers who were supposed to be ready at a moment's notice to regain control of their cars using Autopilot.

The agency said it had identified at least 13 fatal accidents related to the use of Autopilot. The company also faces lawsuits from people who claim the system is defective and that its design contributed to or is responsible for serious injuries and deaths.

The recall, which involves an over-the-air software update, includes more prominent visual alerts and controls when drivers use Autopilot to remind them to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road. The recall covers all five Tesla passenger models: 3, S, X, Y and Cybertruck.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

The auto safety agency also said Friday that it disagreed with Tesla's decision to allow customers to opt out and allow them to undo the changes. Tesla also appeared to release other updates that addressed issues related to the recall that the company and the safety agency had not agreed to beforehand.

“This investigation will consider why these updates were not part of the recall or were not otherwise determined to remedy a defect that poses an unreasonable safety risk,” the agency said in its notice.

Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, have long been irritated by criticism of Autopilot and a more advanced system it calls full self-driving. They have argued that the systems, none of which make their cars autonomous, make them safer and have blamed drivers for any accidents or problems.

The automaker has also been under scrutiny from safety regulators over other issues.

Last week, the auto safety agency said that Tesla had agreed to withdraw almost 4,000 Cybertruck trucks. The agency said the way soap had been used as a lubricant during assembly of the truck could cause the accelerator pedal to stick. The automaker is not aware of any injuries or accidents related to that defect.

In February, Tesla recalled more than two million vehicles because the font size on a warning light panel was too small.

These setbacks come as the company struggles to maintain its dominance in the electric vehicle market as newer and more established automakers introduce new models around the world. Tesla's share of the U.S. electric vehicle market fell to 51 percent in the first quarter, down from 62 percent during the same period last year.

Musk told employees this month that Tesla cut more than 10 percent of its workforce. Two senior executives also announced they were leaving the company.


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