America’s top transportation safety regulators want to know why Tesla didn’t recoup its “autopilot” feature after a series of emergency vehicle accidents – and “full self-driving” testers are investigating the company’s need to sign undisclosed contracts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is threatening to hit Tesla with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.
Tesla has released a software update, following a series of incidents that have struck police and other emergency personnel in Tesla’s auto pilot mode, according to a letter sent to NHTSA Tesla.
But issuing software updates that fix security issues without providing a formal recovery is against the agency’s rules.
“Any manufacturer that reduces the risk of an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety must submit a timely recovery notice to the NHTSA,” said Eddie Gates, Tesla field quality director. The letter that was First reported by the Associated Press.
The letter asks for a list of events that prompted the software update, along with which vehicles it was sent to and whether these measures would extend to Tesla’s entire fleet.
It asks the Ilan Musk-helmed company — which recently announced plans to relocate its headquarters from California to Texas — to file a recovery document.
“If not, please provide Tesla’s technical and / or legal basis for refusal,” the agency asks.
Tesla must comply with the request by November 1 or face court action and civil penalties of more than $ 114 million, the agency wrote.
In a separate special order sent to Tesla, NHTSA says the company is taking steps to prevent the agency’s access to safety information.
The ordinance forces Tesla to explain undisclosed contracts and how they are signed by Tesla drivers. Tesla must state that the owners of vehicles equipped with an auto pilot for Tesla must agree to “any conditions that prevent or discourage sharing or discussion of any aspect of the auto pilot with any person other than Tesla.”
The pledge must be made by a Tesla official. The order stated that the matter could be referred to the Justice Department for court action to demand a response if Tesla fails to comply. It threatens fines of more than $ 114 million.
Tesla, which does not have a media relations section, did not respond to requests for comment from the Post or the Associated Press.
The letter represents a further chilling of the already frosty relationship between NHTSA and Tesla.
In August, Tesla launched a formal investigation into the Auto Pilot and said it was aware of 11 crashes since 2018, in which Tesla struck emergency vehicles with flashing lights, flames or other emergency signals.
The investigation included 765,000 vehicles – or nearly every car the company has made since 2014.
With post wires