DETROIT, AP – Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 cars and SUVs because their “Full Self-Driving” software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt.
Documents posted on Tuesday by US safety regulators say that Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update.
The “rolling stop” feature allows vehicles to go through intersections with all-way stop signs at up to 9km per hour.
Tesla agreed to the recall after two meetings with officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to documents.
Tesla said that it knows of no crashes or injuries caused by feature.
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The recall covers Model S sedans and X SUVs from 2016 through 2022 as well as 2017 to 2022 Model 3 sedans and 2020 through 2022 Model Y SUVs.
Selected Tesla drivers are “beta testing” the “Full Self-Driving” software on public roads.
The company says the cars cannot drive themselves and drivers must be ready to take action at all times.
A firmware release to disable the rolling stops is expected to be sent out in early February.
NHTSA said in documents that failing to stop for a sign can increase the risk of a crash.
Safety advocates complain that Tesla should not be allowed to test the vehicles in traffic with untrained drivers and that the Tesla software can malfunction, exposing other motorists and pedestrians to danger.
Most of the other car companies with similar software test with trained human safety drivers.
Tesla introduced the “rolling stop” feature in a software update that was sent out to the testing owners on October 20.
NHTSA met with Tesla on January 10 and 19 to discuss how the software operates, the documents said.
On January 20, the company agreed to disable the rolling stops with the software update.
Owners will get required notification letters on March 28.
The “rolling stop” feature let the Teslas go through all-way stop signs as long as the owner enabled the function.
The cars have to be travelling below 9km/h while approaching the intersection and no “relevant” moving cars, pedestrians or bicyclists can be detected nearby.