NHTSA Investigating Autopilot Problems on 765K Teslas
August 17, 2021—The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has opened an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot software following a series of collisions with parked emergency vehicles.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the investigation covers around 765,000 vehicles, which is "almost everything that Tesla has sold in the U.S. since the start of the 2014 model year." The NHTSA has identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas using the Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control features have hit vehicles at scene where first responders have used some form of light to guide or block traffic.
“We are glad to see NHTSA finally acknowledge our long standing call to investigate Tesla for putting technology on the road that will be foreseeably misused in a way that is leading to crashes, injuries, and deaths,” said Jason Levine, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group, in the report. “If anything, this probe needs to go far beyond crashes involving first responder vehicles because the danger is to all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians when Autopilot is engaged.”
The investigation covers Tesla's entire current lineup and Models Y, X, S, and 3 from 2014 through 2021. The 11 crashes since 2018 that the NHTSA has identified in the probe have injured 17 people and killed one.