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Tesla pauses new Full Self-Driving beta installations until recall is addressed

Tesla pauses new Full Self-Driving beta installations until recall is addressed


Tesla has temporarily halted installations of its controversial driver-assist system after federal safety regulators deemed it posed a ‘crash risk.’ The recall affects nearly 363,000 vehicles.

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Tesla is putting a hold on new installations of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software in the US and Canada until a firmware update can be issued to address a safety recall, according to a new company support page. The automaker issued the recall this month at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which determined that the advanced driver-assistance feature could pose a “crash risk.”

Tesla vehicle owners who may have just purchased the $15,000 FSD add-on — or previously bought it but have yet to opt in to it — won’t be able to get access to it until after the automaker issues an over-the-air (OTA) software update. Tesla has not provided a timeline for the rollout of the update but says no immediate action needs to be taken by the customer.

Those who already have FSD installed and activated can continue to use the software as is but won’t see any new features until the issues identified by NHTSA are addressed. The recall affects nearly 363,000 Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles that are equipped with FSD.

The current FSD beta advanced-driver assistance software could cause vehicles to break traffic laws and make risky maneuvers. Tesla indicated the following problematic behaviors that could happen:

Traveling or turning through certain intersections during a stale yellow traffic light

The perceived duration of the vehicle’s static position at certain intersections with a stop sign, particularly when the intersection is clear of any other road users

Adjusting vehicle speed while traveling through certain variable speed zones, based on detected speed limit signage and/or the vehicle’s speed offset setting that is adjusted by the driver

Negotiating a lane change out of certain turn-only lanes to continue traveling straight

Tesla currently calls the FSD beta software an “SAE Level 2 driver support feature,” which means that it can steer, brake, and accelerate automatically with a driver present. The driver operating FSD must be engaged and ready to take over at any time and is also completely responsible for any mishaps the system could make.

The beta version of FSD was widely released to all purchasers of the add-on in November. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long promised that FSD will eventually become a fully autonomous system where the car can drive itself with no driver present and even become a robotaxi. The future of the tech is expected to be a big part of Tesla’s Master Plan 3, which will be revealed at the automaker’s Investor Day on March 1st.