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Feds ask Tesla why it didn’t recall ‘Autopilot’ feature after deadly crashes

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America’s high transportation security regulator desires to know why Tesla didn’t difficulty a recall of its “Autopilot” feature after a sequence of deadly crashes with emergency autos — and is investigating the corporate’s requirement that “full self driving” testers signal non-disclosure agreements. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is threatening to hit Tesla with a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in fines. 

Following a sequence of incidents through which Teslas in autopilot mode allegedly crashed into police and different emergency crews, Tesla issued a software program replace that addressed the issue, based on a letter the NHTSA despatched to Tesla. 

But issuing software program updates that repair questions of safety with out issuing a proper recall is in opposition to the company’s guidelines.

“Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA,” the company instructed Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of area high quality, in a letter that was first reported by the Associated Press

The letter asks for a listing of occasions that motivated the software program replace, in addition to what autos it was despatched to and whether or not the measures prolong to Tesla’s total fleet.

It additionally asks the Elon Musk-helmed firm — which not too long ago revealed plans to relocate its headquarters from California to Texas — whether or not it intends to file recall paperwork. 

A Tesla crash
The NHTSA is investigating a sequence of crashes through which Teslas in allegedly in autopilot mode crashed into emergency autos.
AP

“If not, please furnish Tesla’s technical and/or legal basis for declining to do so,” the company asks.

Tesla has to adjust to the request by Nov. 1 or face court docket motion and civil fines of greater than $114 million, the company wrote.

In a separate particular order despatched to Tesla, NHTSA says that the corporate could also be taking steps to hinder the company’s entry to security info by requiring drivers who’re testing “Full Self-Driving” software program to signal non-disclosure agreements.

Tesla logo
The federal regulator is threatening to hit Tesla with a whole bunch of thousands and thousands in fines.
AP

The order calls for that Tesla describe the non-disclosure agreements and the way they’re signed by Tesla drivers. The firm additionally should say whether or not Tesla requires homeowners of autos outfitted with autopilot to agree “to any terms that would prevent or discourage vehicle owners from sharing information about or discussing any aspect of Autopilot with any person other than Tesla.”

Responses should be made by a Tesla officer underneath oath. If Tesla fails to completely comply, the order says the matter might be referred to the Justice Department for court docket motion to power responses. It additionally threatens extra fines of over $114 million.

Tesla, which doesn’t have a media relations division, didn’t reply to a requests for remark from The Post or the Associated Press.

A Tesla crash
The NHTSA desires a Tesla worker to testify about non-disclosure agreements underneath oath.
AP

The letter represents an extra chilling of the already frosty relationship between the NHTSA and Tesla. 

In August, the company mentioned it had opened a proper investigation into Tesla’s autopilot and was conscious of 11 crashes since 2018 through which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit emergency autos with flashing lights, flares or different emergency alerts. 

The investigation covers 765,000 autos — or practically each automobile that the corporate has made since 2014.  

Tesla crash
The NHTSA’s investigation covers 765,000 Tesla autos.
AP

With Post Wires

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