The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Tesla is recalling nearly 12,000 vehicles sold in the United States since 2017 due to a communication error that could result in a false forward-collision warning or unexpected emergency brake activation.
The recall of 11,704 Model S, X, 3, and Y vehicles was initiated by a software update issued on Oct. 23 to vehicles in the limited early access version 10.3 Full-Self Driving (FSD) (Beta) group, according to the California automaker.
FSD is an advanced driver aid technology that helps with various driving responsibilities, but it does not make cars driverless, according to Tesla.
Tesla "uninstalled FSD 10.3 after receiving reports of unintended activation of the automated emergency braking system," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and then "updated the software and distributed FSD version 10.3.1 to those vehicles affected."
"We will continue our discussions with Tesla to ensure that any safety flaw is swiftly acknowledged and corrected," the agency stated.
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) questioned Tesla last month about why it had not issued a recall for software updates to its Autopilot driver-assistance system that improved the vehicles' capacity to recognize emergency vehicles.
The problem was caused by a software communication breakdown between two onboard chips, which caused an issue that could result in "negative object velocity detections when other vehicles are present," according to Tesla.
If the automated emergency braking system engages unexpectedly while driving, it may increase the chance of a rear-end collision.
Tesla stated that it was not aware of any collisions, but added that it was not aware of any.
There have been no crashes or injuries as a result of the problem.
Tesla halted the FSD update for vehicles that had not received it and disabled FCW and AEB on affected vehicles following the October 24 reports.
On the same day, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about FSD, saying, "Seeing some issues with 10.3, therefore temporarily rolling back to 10.2. Please keep in mind that this is to be expected when using beta software."
Tesla began rolling out the over-the-air software upgrade on October 25 and re-enabled FCW and AEB features on vehicles that received it.
Tesla reported that as of Oct. 29, more than 99.8% of vehicles - all but 17 - had received the update and that no additional action is required.
After a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began a formal safety investigation of Tesla's Autopilot technology in 765,000 U.S. vehicles in August.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration questioned Tesla in October about its "Autosteer on City Streets," or FSD, which was initially leased in October 2020, and expressed concerns about constraints on driver disclosure of safety hazards.