NHTSA asks Tesla why it did not withdraw vehicles

WASHINGTON – US car safety regulators require information from Tesla Inc. on its beta testing program of full self-government and ask whether the electric vehicle manufacturer intends to withdraw vehicles that have received air updates to better detect emergency vehicles.

Tesla must respond to the agency by November 1, otherwise it could face civil fines of up to nearly $ 115 million.

In a letter sent Tuesday, NHTSA said it was looking for information on Tesla’s launch in early October of the Full Self-Driving beta menu option for customers and an update to its autopilot driver assistance system in September, which has in order to improve the detection of emergency vehicle lights in low light conditions.

“Any manufacturer who issues an air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unjustified risk to the safety of motor vehicles is required to submit an accompanying withdrawal notice to NHTSA in a timely manner,” said Gregory Magno, Head of Vehicle Defects. in the NHTSA Defect Investigation Service, wrote in a letter to Eddie Gates, director of field quality at Tesla.

Among the requests, NHTSA asked Tesla to provide a chronology of events and any internal investigations that led to the implementation of the update, and a list of cars that received it. NHTSA also asks whether Tesla intends to file a safety withdrawal covering these vehicles.

The agency is asking Tesla to assess any changes in the time or outcome of the incident if the emergency light detection update was in effect in Tesla’s 12 crashes, including autopilot and first reaction scenes investigated by NHTSA.

Federal regulators launched an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot mode in August following a series of first-collision collisions involving the driver assistance system. The NHTSA safety probe covers approximately 765,000 Teslas from the 2014 to 2021 model years. Most of the crashes occurred in the dark and resulted in a total of 17 injuries and one death.

The agency is also looking for information on Tesla’s criteria and deadlines for granting access to customers who have requested consideration in the process of fully applying for the beta version of Self-Driving.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that the latest version – beta 10.2 – will be available for those with 100 safety points and who have traveled more than 100 miles. Participants must agree to allow Tesla to evaluate their driving behavior for one week.

Tesla’s full self-steering extends the autopilot mode to include more advanced driver assistance features, but drivers must remain fully committed to the task of driving. Today, no carmaker sells a self-driving vehicle to the public.

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