Tesla recalls nearly 363,000 vehicles over flaws in self-driving software

Tesla will look to address the concerns with an online software update. Credit: AP

Tesla is recalling nearly 363,000 vehicles with its "Full Self-Driving" system in the US to fix problems with the way it behaves around junctions and following speed limits.

The recall, part of a larger investigation by US safety regulators into Tesla's automated driving systems, comes after concerns were raised about the way Tesla's system responds in four areas along roads.

On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in documents that Tesla will fix the concerns with an online software update in the coming weeks.

According to the documents, Tesla is doing the recall but does not agree with an agency analysis of the problem.

The system, which is being tested on public roads by as many as 400,000 Tesla owners, makes unsafe actions, such as traveling straight through a junction while in a turn-only lane, failing to come to a complete standstill at stop signs or going through a junction during an amber traffic light without proper caution, NHTSA said.

In addition, the system may not adequately respond to changes in speed limits or account for the driver's adjustments in speed, the documents said.

"FSD beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash," the NHTSA said.

Tesla has received 18 warranty claims which could have been caused by the software between May 2019 and September 2022. But the Texas-based electric vehicle maker told the agency it is not aware of any deaths or injuries.

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In a statement, the NHTSA said it found the problem during tests performed as part of an investigation into "Full Self-Driving" and "Autopilot" software, which take on some driving tasks.

Despite the names “Full Self-Driving” and “Autopilot,” Tesla says on its website that the cars cannot drive themselves and owners must be ready to intervene at all times.

Testing by the NHTSA found that "Autosteer on City Streets", which is part of Tesla's FSD beta testing, "led to an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety based on insufficient adherence to traffic safety laws".

Vehicles covered by the recall include certain 2016-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles, as well as 2013-17 Model 3s, and 2020-2023 Model Y vehicles equipped with the software or with the installation pending.