Tesla FSD Beta Update Will Fix Speed Limit Issue and Other NHTSA Concerns

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla will issue a software update to address issues the NHTSA has found
Tesla will issue a software update to address issues the NHTSA has found
Not a Tesla App

The NHTSA has found several issues with Tesla's FSD Beta software that they found concerning. Tesla has agreed to voluntarily fix the issues outlined through a future FSD Beta update.

The recall notice posted to the NHTSA’s website says that Tesla’s FSD Beta software “allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner [which] increases the risk of a crash.”

Tesla was notified of the issues identified by the NHTSA. The agency is primarily concerned about the “operational characteristics” of FSD Beta. During these scenarios, the NHTSA is concerned that FSD Beta “could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs, which could increase the risk of a collision if the driver does not intervene.”

The Issues The NHTSA Found

The NHTSA outlined the four issues below that they would like Tesla to address. Some of these have been long-standing issues and owners may be happy to hear they're being addressed.

Traveling or turning through certain intersections during a stale yellow traffic light;

The perceived duration of the vehicle’s static position at certain intersections with a stop sign, particularly when the intersection is clear of any other road users;

Adjusting vehicle speed while traveling through certain variable speed zones, based on detected speed limit signage and/or the vehicle’s speed offset setting that is adjusted by the driver; and

Negotiating a lane change out of certain turn-only lanes to continue traveling straight.

Meetings with Tesla

Tesla met with the NHTSA a number of times over the last two weeks to discuss solutions. Despite disagreeing with the NHTSA’s analysis, they’ve issued a voluntary recall and will provide a software update to remedy the issues identified.

According to Protect My Car, “a voluntary recall happens when the manufacturer is made aware of an issue that poses a safety risk.” The manufacturer will typically issue them to remove their liability. “These recalls never expire and the free car repair will be made no matter how old the vehicle is, how many miles it has, or how many owners have had the vehicle,” per Protect My Car.

NHTSA Investigates Tesla

The NHTSA has been investigating Tesla over its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Beta software. Last summer, the regulatory agency requested more information from Tesla about their “phantom braking” complaints. Shortly after, they upgraded the investigation to an “Engineering Analysis” after a few reports of vehicles with Autopilot engaged crashed into stopped emergency vehicles.

“The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation,” the NHTSA said at the time.

Although not directly aimed at Tesla, the NHTSA also recently launched an investigation as to whether hybrid-electric and electric vehicles from 1997 to present should have external speakers installed for pedestrian safety. In July 2022, the NHTSA received a petition that urged them to require all hybrid-electric and electric vehicles to have external noisemakers installed.

“The petitioner asserts that hybrid and electric vehicles to which the standard does not apply should be found to contain a safety defect. In support of the petition, the petitioner includes findings contained in a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, H.R. 734, 111th CONG. (2009).”

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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