Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
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Tesla issues mass recall of nearly all US vehicles to fix Autopilot feature

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Car Accidents, Defective Products

Tesla is recalling over two million vehicles in the U.S. – nearly all the automobiles it has sold in the region. The automaker hopes to address issues with its problematic driver assist system, Autopilot, through a software update.

According to recall documents, Tesla will update the software of the recalled vehicles to increase warnings and alerts to drivers. The update will also limit the areas where drivers can activate the Autosteer function. Autopilot has a function called Autosteer, which allows the vehicle to maintain a set speed while detecting lane markings, road edges and other vehicles to keep the vehicle in its driving lane.

The recall affects models Y, S, 3 and X produced from October 05, 2012, to December 07, 2023.

Tesla’s recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently shared the results of its two-year investigative report on the Autopilot feature and its involvement in collisions. That report found that not only did the system still have issues spotting and stopping for obstacles, but it also didn’t ensure that drivers were still paying attention to the road ahead.

NHTSA announced that its investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot remains open. The agency also said it will continue checking how the automaker addresses the system’s safety features.

Autopilot isn’t true self-driving technology

Despite being called “Autopilot,” Tesla’s driver assist system can’t drive itself. It can help steer, accelerate, and brake automatically while the car is in its lane, but it’s not true automation because it still requires drivers to be in control.

Autopilot has a failsafe mechanism in the form of cameras and sensors that detect whether the driver’s hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road. However, tests have found that the monitoring system is easy to fool, allowing drivers to recklessly use Autopilot as if it’s self-driving technology.

NHTSA findings have also found that even with Autopilot on, some vehicles still crashed into pedestrians, motorcycles, semi-trailers and even parked emergency vehicles.

Suing for defective self-driving features

If you have suffered injuries from an accident caused by defective self-driving or driver assist technologies, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

To make your case, it would be wise to document everything. You should keep note of how the collision occurred, which features on your vehicle were active during the crash and any witness statements. You should also keep track of your medical expenses.

Consider speaking with a legal professional before filing any lawsuit. A lawyer can review your circumstances and determine if you have enough for a product liability case.