NHTSA seeks more info from Tesla in ‘phantom braking’ safety probe


WASHINGTON — The nation’s top rated car security regulator is requesting extra facts from Tesla Inc. to help its investigation of specific Product 3 and Design Y autos outfitted with Autopilot immediately after stories alleging “phantom braking.”

NHTSA’s request arrives just after the company in February opened the investigation into an estimated 416,000 Model 3 and Design Y autos from the 2021-22 design decades immediately after receiving 354 issues of unpredicted braking whilst making use of Autopilot’s driver-support characteristics.

In a letter sent May well 4 to Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of industry high quality, NHTSA reported the amount of stories of sudden brake activation in those people vehicles experienced elevated to 758.

The agency is now in search of additional details from Tesla, such as any problems or lawsuits related to the alleged defect as very well as studies involving a crash, harm or demise.

Tesla has till June 20 to answer, or it could encounter civil penalties of up to practically $115 million.

According to the letter, posted Friday, NHTSA is inquiring Tesla to explain any assessments, tests, scientific studies, simulations or equivalent actions that have been performed by, or for, the automaker as it relates to the alleged defect. The agency also desires to know what components and computer software modifications have been created to the impacted automobiles considering the fact that the commence of creation.

Other requests include things like a in-depth description of the system style and design and procedure, which include all affiliated sensor systems, as effectively as Tesla’s assessment of the alleged defect, ailments that may well consequence in unforeseen brake activation and linked security pitfalls.

Tesla, which disbanded its media relations section, did not right away react to a request for comment.

The electrical car maker has ongoing to experience higher regulatory scrutiny less than the Biden administration.

Very last 12 months, NHTSA opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot method after a sequence of crashes involving its models and unexpected emergency motor vehicles. The ongoing probe covers an approximated 765,000 Teslas from the 2014-21 design years. Most of the crashes happened following darkish and in complete resulted in 17 injuries and 1 demise.


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