NHTSA Reviewing Tesla Crash Possibly Caused by Full Self Driving Beta
Yet another Tesla crash has made the news. This time it most certainly involves the Tesla Full Self Driving Beta software. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into a Tesla owner’s harrowing experience.
NHTSA looking into Tesla Crash involving Full Self Driving Beta software
According to Automotive News, the NHTSA is reviewing a consumer report from a Tesla Model Y owner. The Model Y got into an accident while using the Tesla Full Self Driving Beta software.
The owner told the NHTSA that their Model Y was in Full Self Driving (FSD) mode then, “while taking a left turn the car went into the wrong lane and I was hit by another driver in the lane next to my lane.”
The owner said the car “gave an alert halfway through the turn,” and from there, the owner tried to regain control. However, “the car by itself took control and forced itself into the incorrect lane,” according to the report.
The Tesla crash caused significant damage to the passenger side of the vehicle.
“NHTSA is aware of the consumer complaint in question and is in communication with the manufacturer to gather additional information,” said an NHTSA spokesperson in a statement.
The NHTSA has already expressed concerns about the FSD Beta software
This recent Tesla crash is not the first run-in the automaker has had with the NHTSA. In October, an update to the Tesla Full Self Driving Beta was sent out over the air (OTA). However, the update was revoked in less than 24 hours after owners using the FSD Beta reported their vehicles would apply emergency braking for no reason.
Within another 24 hours after pulling the update, Tesla released another software patch that they claimed fixed the issue.
The NHTSA was not thrilled with that sequence of events. The safety agency sent a letter to Tesla requesting information and why the automaker did not file a recall for the software update.
Furthermore, the agency threatened Tesla with over $110 million in fines if it did not respond to them by November 1st, 2021. On Halloween weekend, Tesla complied and filed a recall for 12,000 Tesla vehicles citing the FSD Beta update as the cause.
Tesla’s late response and narrow avoidance of significant fines is just one chapter in the ongoing saga of the conflict between the automaker and the safety agency.
The NHTSA and NTSB are actively investigating Tesla Autopilot
One Tesla crash is enough to gain the attention of a safety agency, but it was not until 12 crashes were reported that the NHTSA launched a safety probe into the EV maker back in August.
Authorities suspected that the Tesla Autopilot driver-assistance software contained a significant glitch. That glitch allegedly caused Teslas to crash into emergency first-responder vehicles. These incidences occurred before the Tesla Full Self Driving Beta software was released.
Additionally, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating at least two fatal crashes involving Tesla vehicles. One in Florida and one in Texas. In both incidences, the Tesla vehicles crashed into a tree before bursting into flames. Also, in both instances, all occupants were killed.
Witnesses at both crashes suspected that Tesla Autopilot was in control at the time of the collisions. However, the NTSB has not released any information linking Autopilot to fatal crashes, though the investigations are ongoing.
If things escalate, Tesla may face major action from the NHTSA.