Tesla Recalls 54K Self-Driving Cars For Disrespecting The Stop Sign

stop sign
Some drivers like to play it safe while other drivers tend to be a tad more aggressive. Tesla recently released various self-driving modes to accommodate both driving styles. However, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken issue with some of the self-driving mode behaviors. Tesla will recall 53,822 vehicles that incorporate its Full Self-Driving (Beta) software because the vehicles may not fully stop at stop signs.

Tesla’s controversial Full Self-Driving (Beta) software features three different modes that drivers can choose from. The “Aggressive” mode allows the vehicle to “have a smaller follow distance, perform more frequent lane changes, will not exit passing lanes and may perform rolling stops.” Most of the above listed behaviors are infuriating and potentially dangerous to other drivers, but not all of them are technically illegal in all states. However, the NHTSA is primarily concerned with the software’s tendency to perform rolling stops or “California stops.” This behavior is illegal and highly dangerous.

tesla model 3
Tesla Model 3

The rolling stop behavior permits the vehicle to “travel through all-way-stop intersections at up to 5.6 mph before coming to a complete stop, if certain conditions are first met.” There are quite a few requirements that must be met for this behavior to trigger. For example, all the roads leading to the intersection must have a speed limit of no more than 30 mph and there must be no other moving vehicles, pedestrians, or bicycles. Nevertheless, the NHTSA finds this behavior to be unacceptable.

According to the NHTSA, “Tesla will perform an over-the-air (OTA) software update that disables the ‘rolling stop’ functionality, free of charge.” Affected vehicles include the Tesla Model 3 (2017-2022), Model S (2016-2022), Model X (2016-2022), and Model Y (2020-2022). Vehicle owners should receive a notification letter in the mail around the end of March. Owners will not be required to take their vehicle in for service.

The Full Self-Driving (Beta) software was originally released in October 2021 but was pulled two days later due to a variety of safety issues. It was released again this past January and the price of the beta was increased from $10,000 USD to $12,000 USD. Tesla noted that the technology requires a driver’s attention at all times and was not considered fully autonomous technology.

Images of Tesla Model 3 courtesy of Tesla