Tesla recalls 2 million cars for software update to provide visual and audible alerts

Tesla is recalling more than 2 million vehicles to provide a software update designed to ensure drivers pay attention when they use the cars’ Autopilot feature.

 If roadway conditions are not met to allow the vehicle to use Autosteer, drivers will be alerted with visual and audible alerts and Autosteer will not engage.

The recall follows a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of crashes, some fatal, that occurred when the Autopilot partially-automated driving feature was used.

The software update includes added controls and alerts “to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility,” according to NHTSA documents.

Some drivers already were supposed to have been sent the update on Tuesday.

The recall affects models Y, S, 3 and X produced from Oct. 5, 2012 to Dec. 7, 2023. Those recalls cover nearly all the Teslas sold in the US.

Autopilot includes Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control. Autosteer is intened for use on limited access freeways with clear lane markings, and the software update is intended to limit where Autosteer can be used. 

“If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alter the drive it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts and Autosteer will not engage,” according to the documents.

NHTSA first began its investigation in August 2021 of 11 collisions between Tesla vehicles operating with Autosteer engaged and stationary first-responder vehicles.

In June, The Washington Post tallied 17 fatalities and 736 crashes related to the use of Autopilot.