Over 53,000 vehicles are involved.
Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta software was already a source of controversy, though not quite at the level of Autopilot, the automaker's first driver-assist system. Today, however, FSD is back in the headlines for not a good reason. Tesla, in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has issued a recall for 53,822 examples of the Model S, X, 3, and Y all-electric vehicles due to a software problem that's allowing them to roll through stop signs without coming to a complete standstill. It's important to note these vehicles have a newer version of FSD Beta installed (version 2020.40.4.10 or later).
The official recall documents state Tesla plans to disable the "rolling stop" feature, which allows drivers to go through intersections with all-way stops at up to 5.6 mph before coming to a complete stop, with an over-the-air software update. The NHTSA correctly points out this capability "can increase the risk of death."
Also according to the documents, Tesla was fully aware that it programmed this system to violate the law in all 50 states. Drivers will receive tickets if they're caught not coming to a complete stop. Tesla didn't seem to care. It did inform the government safety agency that "As of January 27, 2022, Tesla is not aware of any warranty claims, field reports, crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to this condition."
That's obviously good news, but a very basic safety law was still knowingly ignored. Tesla only agreed to conduct the recall following two meetings with NHTSA officials. Owners should further know the recall affects Model S and X examples built from 2016 through 2022, and 2017 through 2022 model year Model 3s and Ys.
The FSD Beta system, meanwhile, is not available to all Tesla owners, only select ones. Like Autopilot, which is still being investigated by the NHTSA for separate safety concerns, FSD Beta-equipped vehicles cannot drive themselves; they remain rated at Level 2 self-driving on a five-point scale. Tesla says it expects the OTA update to be released early this month.
As usual, Tesla has no comment regarding the recall because it lacks a public relations department. But what's troubling is that the "rolling stop" feature was released last October. Since then, drivers have been violating a very basic safety law in America. There's no way Tesla was not aware of this beforehand.