The NHTSA, the highway regulator in the United States, has announced that it is extending the investigation started last August into the Tesla Autopilot. This is the last step before a possible recall of the vehicles.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not letting go of Tesla. The NHTSA has, in fact, announced that the Autopilot investigation, which began in August 2021, has been extended. This extension is not surprising, it is the last step of this type of investigation, the last before a possible recall of the Tesla currently marketed.
During this final stage, the engineers of the American agency will be able to have access to ” additional data »and above all do vehicle evaluations themselves “. They can then determine how Autopilot or other Tesla driver assistance systems may exacerbate human risk or the behavior of their drivers by compromising the effectiveness of driver supervision “.
830,000 Tesla on borrowed time
As a reminder, this investigation began after several accidents of Tesla vehicles with emergency cars stopped on the side. The NHTSA has since clarified that its investigation had been extended to other types of accidents and not only those involving priority vehicles. In total, 11 collisions are being analyzed, but the agency’s findings could relate to the 830,000 Tesla vehicles registered in the United States between 2014 and 2021. Tesla has not yet reacted to the declarations of the NHTSA, but there is no doubt that this is a critical moment for the Californian brand.
Even if it is not used in the same way in Europe, the Autopilot remains one of the markers of Tesla, and undoubtedly the technology that the manufacturer wishes to achieve in the long term to make its vehicles completely autonomous. Any recall decision would be critical for Elon Musk’s firm, which would probably have to postpone its plans for a few more years.