Tesla Recalls More Than 2 Million Cars Over Autopilot Notifications

Tesla has recalled more than 2 million cars, according to NHSTA documents, to add warnings and alerts to users of the brand’s Autopilot software. In some cases, Tesla will now restrict areas where some versions of Autopilot can operate. Tesla’s entire lineup is affected: any Model Y, 3, X, or S made from October 5, 2012 to December 7, 2023 will get an over-the-air update as part of the recall. Autopilot allows Tesla owners to let the car match the speed of traffic around it, steer (with hands on the wheel), and more. It has also been under investigation by the NHTSA after a string of crashes, some fatal.

The NHTSA says that Autopilot wasn’t monitoring drivers enough- something that it says could lead to “foreseeable misuse” of Autopilot. Unfortunately, specifics aren’t offered up by the recall notice, and the only available information on the new warnings is that they will “further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility.” Furthermore, the update will now limit situations in which Autosteer can be used. “If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alert the driver it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts, and Autosteer will not engage.”

Another fix specific to Autosteer will be added to some cars depending on their manufacture date and specification. This will add controls that simplify how Autosteer is activated and turned off, increase visual alerts, and add checks on whether Autosteer is benign used outside these newly designated areas. It isn’t clear where these areas are, but the recall notice says that it is intended for use on “controlled-access highways” and that it will disengage when approaching certain “traffic control” devices. Presumably, these are stop signs, traffic lights, and the like. The update is already being added to vehicles made after December 7, but it isn’t clear yet when owners will receive the over-the-air update. Notification for owners starts on February 10, 2024.

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Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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