Tesla recalls 363,000 cars over self-driving software

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Tesla is updating its self-driving software after US safety officials raised concerns that it could allow drivers to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections unsafely.

The recall affects nearly 363,000 vehicles in the US, according to filings with the US government.

Tesla said it was not aware of any injuries or deaths related to the issues.

US authorities have been investigating the firm’s autopilot system.

Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) met with Tesla in January to raise concerns about the “full self-driving beta” software, according to the recall notice.

NHTSA said the system allowed behaviour that could “infringe” on local laws or customs such as driving through a yellow light, travelling straight through an intersection from a turn-only lane or not coming to full stop at a stop sign.

“FSD Beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash,” it said.

Tesla said it disagreed with the agency’s conclusions but decided to issue a recall “out of an abundance of caution”, according to the filing.

Owners are in the process of being notified. The software update is free.

Boss Elon Musk did not comment directly on the decision but in a tweet on Thursday he wrote: “The word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”

This is the second recall involving the firm’s full self-driving beta system, which is the most advanced level of the company’s autopilot technology.

Available to drivers in North America for $15,000 (£12,500), it allows the car to respond to traffic lights and stop signs on top of features such as cruise control and steering.

Last year, Tesla recalled nearly 54,000 vehicles because the system let the cars roll through stop signs.

The most recent recall affects Tesla model S and X cars that have the full self-driving beta software installed or pending. It also affects model 3 cars and model Ys with the system.

Tesla said it was aware of 18 warranty claims that had been made related to the issue.

Tesla and the NHTSA say the carmaker’s advanced driving features do not make the cars autonomous and require drivers to pay attention.