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Earlier this month, Tesla issued a voluntary safety recall at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after the NHTSA determined that the company’s advanced driver assistance feature, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software, could create a “crash risk.”
The recall affects almost 363,000 Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y vehicles equipped with FSD. Users that already have FSD installed and activated can still use the software, but won’t see any new features until Tesla rolls out an over-the-air (OTA) software update to address the issues. Tesla hasn’t given any details on when it expects to make this update available, but the company did say that no immediate action needs to be taken by Tesla owners.
While users who already have FSD can continue to use it, Tesla is putting a hold on new installations of the software, according to a new company support page. The support page clarifies that, despite its name, the FSD beta software is “an SAE Level 2 driver support feature”, meaning the software does not make the vehicle fully autonomous.
SAE outlines six levels of driving automation, from Level 0, where the car has features that provide warnings and some assistance features like automatic braking, to Level 5, where a vehicle can drive itself under any road conditions. Level 2 falls just below the automated driving features levels, and is outlined as the vehicle providing steering and braking and acceleration support to the driver.
Level 3 and above systems require more regulatory approval and extensive testing to roll out onto public roads. A driver cannot be taken out of the driver’s seat completely until a vehicle achieves Level 4 automation.
When using FSD, all drivers are responsible for the operation of the vehicle and should keep their hands on the wheel at all times to be able to intervene as needed.
Tesla outlined four circumstances that its FSD beta software has been struggling with: traveling or turning through intersections with a stale yellow traffic light, coming to a full stop at stop signs, particularly when the car doesn’t perceive any other road users at the signs, adjusting speeds while driving through variable speed zones and properly changing lanes to continue going straight when the vehicles find themselves in turn-only lanes.
On Monday, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk were sued by shareholders accusing them of overstating the effectiveness and safety of Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD technologies, according to reporting from Reuters.
The proposed class action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court and states that shareholders believe Tesla defrauded them for over four years with false and misleading statements. These statements, according to the lawsuit, concealed how Tesla’s technology “created a serious risk of accident and injury.”
The lawsuit also claims that Tesla’s share price fell several times as the truth of Tesla’s technology came to light, including after NHTSA began investigating the company’s technology.