Tesla is recalling 54,000 cars equipped with its fully self-driving software to deactivate a feature that allows vehicles to move slowly at intersections without stopping in certain situations.
The move comes after the automaker was criticized on social media for enabling “rolling stops” in violation of traffic rules.
“Failure to stop at the stop sign could increase the risk of an accident,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a letter to Tesla confirming the recall, which was announced Tuesday.
The action covers only Tesla equipped with software the company calls full self-driving and includes the Tesla models S, X, 3 and Y which were made at different times between 2016 and 2022.
Fully self-driving is more advanced than Tesla’s more widely used autopilot driver assistance system. Despite their names, no system can be driven by a human driver without an active connection.
Although Tesla allows customers to purchase fully self-driving software – costing 12,000 – the software is still in the testing phase and the company has only allowed a select group of customers to activate it.
The rolling-stop problem is the latest in a series of security issues associated with Tesla. In August, the Traffic Safety Agency launched a formal investigation into a series of crashes in which Tesla collided with emergency vehicles in autopilot mode that had been parked or parked at the scene of a previous accident. The agency is trying to find out why autopilots sometimes fail to see and stop a police car or fire truck flashing emergency lights.
One month later, Tesla released an over-the-air update to improve the ability to identify emergency vehicles. The safety agency responded by reminding Tesla that federal law requires the company to start recalling security vulnerabilities whenever it corrects them. The agency also ordered Tesla to provide data about its fully self-driving software and expressed concern that Tesla might prevent customers from sharing security information with the agency.
In November, Tesla modified software on about 12,000 cars to fix the braking problem and filed a formal recall to document the move. The automaker recalled 458,000 cars in December for two separate mechanical defects that could affect safety. ,
And in December, the security agency opened a feature check that allows front passengers or drivers to play video games on the dashboard screen while driving a Tesla car. A day later, Tesla agreed to disable the feature.
The issue of rolling-stops came to light after new driving modes were added to the Tesla software update in October that could allow a system-equipped car to roll at an intersection at speeds of five miles per hour or less. The security agency discussed the matter twice with Tesla in early January, and the company agreed to recall and disable rolling stops in January. 20, according to documents posted on the agency’s website.
Tesla told regulators that rolling stops at intersections were only allowed when no cars, pedestrians or cyclists were found. The company told the safety agency it was not aware of any crashes resulting from a rolling stop by a car equipped with fully self-driving software, documents show.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.