Tesla’s Autopilot Software Update Should Have Filed Recall Notice: NHTSA

Tesla has to respond to the U.S. safety regulator by October 22 over a probe into series of Autopilot-engaged first responder crashes – and the regulator says Tesla can’t just update its vehicles’ software.

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter to Tesla saying the company must recall vehicles if an over-the-air (OTA) update causes a safety issue, according to MarketWatch.

The letter was addressed to Tesla’s Director of Field Quality Eddie Gates and comes amidst a recent Tesla Autopilot update that causes Teslas to detect and slow down around emergency vehicles at night time.

“Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA.”

The NHTSA also asked for more information about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta, now that the software has expanded to a number of new drivers on public roads.

In California, San Francisco officials and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles also expressed concerns over the rollout of FSD to the public, saying that the technology’s name confuses drivers.

During its investigation into Tesla, the NHTSA also requested assistance from 12 other automakers to learn more about advanced driver assistance systems (ADASs).