If Tesla does not tell the US why it failed to issue a safety recall, it will be fined $114 million.
According to the Associated Press, Tesla faces civil fines of more than $114 million and legal action from US safety authorities if it does not reveal why it did not issue a safety recall when it updated its Autopilot software.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wrote Tesla a letter on Tuesday stating that if an over-the-internet upgrade addresses a safety defect, the car must be recalled. The change was made to make it easier to spot parked emergency vehicles.
In a letter to Tesla’s director of field quality, Eddie Gates, the agency stated, “Any manufacturer delivering an over-the-air update that mitigates a fault that creates an excessive risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notification to NHTSA.”
Tesla has until November 1 to comply with the NHTSA’s requests or risk fines and legal action, according to the agency.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
After receiving repeated instances of automobiles driving into emergency vehicles with warning lights flashing that were stopped on highways, the government launched an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot in August. Cars can be kept in their lane and a safe distance from vehicles in front of them thanks to software.
Messages requesting comment from Tesla were left early Wednesday.
After a series of crashes involving parked emergency vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a formal investigation into Autopilot. The probe encompasses practically all of Tesla’s vehicles sold in the United States from the start of the 2014 model year. 17 people were hurt and one person was killed in the dozen crashes investigated.
Tesla, according to the agency, issued an over-the-internet software upgrade in late September to improve detection of emergency vehicle lights in low-light settings. According to the agency, Tesla is aware that if it discovers a car has a safety flaw, it is required by federal law to conduct a recall.
Tesla’s “Emergency Light Detection Update” was sent to certain vehicles “with the stated purpose of detecting flashing emergency vehicle lights in low light conditions and then responding to said detection with driver alerts and changes to the vehicle speed while Autopilot is engaged,” according to the agency.
The letter requests a list of the events that prompted the decision. This is a condensed version of the information.