Voluntary Tesla Software Update to Ease NHTSA Concerns About FSD Beta

Photo: ColdEnvy

Tesla issued a voluntary “recall” out of caution after discussions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software on Thursday.

In a nutshell, Tesla will issue a software update to address FSD beta issues that the NHTSA says are unsafe. The potential issue affects the following cars with FSD beta software or pending installation:

  • 2016-2023 Model S, Model X
  • 2017-2023 Model 3
  • 2020-2023 Model Y

The recall is under NHTSA Campaign Number 23V085000 and affects a potential 362,758 cars.

“The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,” says the NHTSA.

“In addition, the system may respond insufficiently to changes in posted speed limits or not adequately account for the driver’s adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits,” explains the NHTSA.

As for a timeline of how this all started?

Back on January 25, 2023, the NHTSA says it advised Tesla that it had found potential concerns related to certain operational characteristics of FSD Beta in four specific roadway environments. It requested that Tesla address these concerns by filing a recall notice.

Tesla met with the NHTSA days later and proposed an over-the-air software update.

On February 7, 2023, “while not concurring with the agency’s analysis, Tesla decided to administer a voluntary
recall out of an abundance of caution.”

Tesla said as of February 14, 2023, it had identified 18 warranty claims received between May 8, 2019 and September 12, 2022, that could be related to the conditions above. Tesla says it is not aware of any injuries or deaths related to the described conditions.

Tesla said, “the OTA update, which we expect to deploy in the coming weeks, will improve how FSD Beta negotiates certain driving maneuvers during the conditions described above.”

FSD beta has been put under scrutiny lately by critics such as Dan O’Dowd, who runs competing vehicle software. He ran a Super Bowl ad claiming FSD beta is unsafe, but his tests have previously been proven wrong.

Elon Musk said in response today, “the world “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”.