Tesla’s “phantom braking” problem is now being investigated by the US government

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it is investigating 416,000 Tesla vehicles after receiving hundreds of complaints of unexpected braking. The investigation covers all Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles released in 2021 and 2022.

Reports of “phantom braking” first surfaced last fall, when Tesla had to “roll back” version 10.3 of its fully autonomous pilot program, the company’s advanced driver assistance system, due to issues with forward collision warnings and phantom brakes.

But after the dip, the number of complaints actually increased dramatically, with the NHTSA receiving at least 107 complaints from November to January, compared to just 34 in the previous 22 months, according to the The Washington Post.

In total, the NHTSA said it has received 354 complaints in the past nine months. The report reads: “The complaints allege that while using ADAS features including adaptive cruise control, the vehicle unexpectedly applies its brakes while driving at highway speeds.” “Complainants report that rapid deceleration can occur without warning, randomly, and often repeatedly in a single driving cycle.”

The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation opens a “preliminary assessment,” the stage before the agency can issue a formal subpoena. The report states that so far, there have been no reports of accidents, injuries or deaths as a result of this problem.

Tesla owner Paul Reddy said he experiences phantom braking during “most long trips” that includes autopilot and traffic-aware cruise control, two of Tesla’s advanced driver assistance features.

“Some are slight – the car suddenly slows down,” Reddy wrote in an email. “Some are very dangerous, with the car hitting the brakes when a truck is behind you. Because sudden braking (and sudden acceleration) disturbs your occupants and any vehicle behind you, I cannot use AP or TACC in traffic or with passengers in the vehicle.”

The problem may be attributed to Tesla’s controversial decision last year to remove radar sensors from new Model 3 and Model Y cars. The decision came after Musk publicly expressed his desire to rely exclusively on cameras to power the company’s advanced driver assistance system.

Tesla has come under scrutiny from safety advocates and regulators for its willingness to allow its customers to test what is essentially an unfinished version of a product that Musk has long promised would lead to fully autonomous cars on the road.

Earlier this week, the company was forced to release a software update to remove the FSD feature that allows cars to perform a “rolling stop” – a maneuver in which a car moves slowly through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. (Rolling over is a common driving maneuver although it is illegal in all 50 states in the United States.)

Tesla has issued 10 recalls since October over a range of problems, from a faulty trunk lock mechanism to a faulty windshield defrosting. The company is also under investigation for nearly a dozen accidents involving Tesla cars colliding with stationary emergency vehicles while on autopilot.

#Teslas #phantom #braking #problem #investigated #government

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.