2 million Tesla vehicles recalled: Autosteer feature lacked safeguards

Tesla has announced that over 2 million vehicles have been recalled as officials determined that the autopilot controls are insufficient to prevent misuse and lack proper safeguards.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sometimes when the car’s Autosteer is on, the driver doesn’t maintain responsibility of the vehicle and is not prepared to intervene when necessary. 

The recall includes 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with all versions of Autosteer.

Tesla said it will release an over-the-air software update for free. Owners should expect to receive a letter from Tesla in February notifying them of the recall. 

Tesla said it has started deploying updates to vehicles. 

“Neither the recall nor its remedy disables Autosteer or features that rely on Autosteer,” Tesla said. “The remedy 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, which includes keeping their hands on the steering wheel and paying attention to the roadway.”

In 2021, the NHTSA opened an evaluation after 11 accidents involving stationary first-responder vehicles and Teslas that had the Autosteer engaged. 

The NHTSA said it reviewed 956 crashes that happened when the car’s Autosteer was engaged. It then focused on a narrower set of 322 crashes when the Autosteer was engaged, which included frontal impacts and impacts from potential inadvertent disengagement of the system. 

The Autosteer can provide steering, braking and acceleration support to driver in some operating conditions. Although the Autosteer provides this assistance, the driver is still responsible for the vehicle’s movement.