The U.S. auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), today reportedly launched another investigation into Tesla, this time after owners complained that Tesla vehicles were driving for no apparent reason. Automatic braking.
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In the past nine months, NHTSA said it received 354 complaints from owners about “ghost brakes” in Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. “Ghost braking” is actually the effect of the car’s automatic braking technology, which allows the vehicle to apply the brakes at breakneck speed when necessary.
In fact, “ghost brakes” have plagued Tesla for a long time. The NHTSA survey covers about 416,000 vehicles produced in 2021 and 2022. Tesla said there have been no reports of crashes or injuries resulting from the issue.
Tesla’s electric vehicles are known to be equipped with “partially automated” driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and Autopilot, which allow the car to automatically brake and steer in its own lane. These vehicles sometimes brake unexpectedly on the highway, NHTSA said today.
“Complainants report that this ‘rapid deceleration’ (braking) can occur without warning and often occurs repeatedly within a single drive,” Autopilot said. There was a rear-end collision on the highway.
The investigation is also the latest in a series of NHTSA investigations into Tesla, law enforcement efforts that include Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software. Despite their name “Full Self-Driving,” neither feature can drive the vehicle without human supervision.