Tesla is recalling up to 362,000 vehicles over worries from federal agencies that the company’s full self-driving mode, or FSD, may cause vehicles to exceed speed limits and travel through intersections unpredictably (and illegally), increasing accident risk. CEO Elon Musk has positioned FSD as an important Tesla AI initiative, but the company has yet to meet its self-driving goals.
As Reuters notes, the latest recall comes just two weeks before Tesla’s highly anticipated March 1st investor day, shortly after the airing of a controversial Super Bowl ad that showed a Tesla flattening infant strollers and decapitating a dummy.
Tesla reported deferred revenue of $2.9 billion at the end of 2022. The income came from free supercharging programs, internet connectivity, and over-the-air software updates. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Tesla released an FSD beta version to all its eligible customers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a total of 830,000 Teslas with driver assistance systems, including Autopilot, over crashes involving parked emergency vehicles. Tesla has previously faced scrutiny over its self-driving technology. In 2022, the company recalled nearly 54,000 vehicles with FSD Beta software because it could permit some models to perform illegal rolling stops. The NHTSA opened two new investigations last December into crashes involving Tesla vehicles, including an eight-vehicle crash on San Francisco‘s Bay Bridge.
With investor day just around the corner, all eyes will be on Elon Musk and his EV company as they navigate these latest challenges.