Tesla has released an on-air software patch to disable the feature after discussions with NHTSA.
Tesla Inc. deactivated a function of its so-called full self-management system, which allowed its vehicles to move slowly through intersections without stopping completely when there were no other cars or pedestrians.
Tesla has released software fixes over the air following discussions with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a download announcement filed online by the agency. The company will send letters to the owners. No incidents have been reported, Tesla told NHTSA.
The download covers more than 53,000 vehicles 2016-2022 Model S and Model X, 2017-2022 Model 3 and 2020-2022 Model Y.
Shares of Tesla rose 0.2% in pre-market trading after the news of the withdrawal.
The company did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The move canceled a feature that Tesla added in October for beta users of its driver assistance system. The option allows the owner to choose between modes called “cooling”, “medium” and “urgent”, according to The Verge.
The assertive mode allows the vehicle to follow other cars closer, make more frequent lane changes and stop at four-way intersections, according to the online edition.
According to documents published by NHTSA, the stop function allows the car to pass through an intersection to stop all roads at speeds of up to 5.6 miles per hour if the system does not detect other cars, pedestrians or cyclists. Turns on only when there is sufficient visibility and intersecting roads have speed limits of 30 miles per hour or less.
The agency said it met with company employees on January 10 and January 19, 2022 to discuss the functionality of the feature, and the company issued a voluntary withdrawal to deactivate the feature on January 20.
“Entering an intersection with a complete stop without reaching a complete stop can increase the risk of a collision,” the agency said in a statement.
While Tesla has been charging thousands of dollars for years for full self-driving capabilities that it says will live up to that name sometime in the future, the features are still in beta and people need to continue to take care of the steering wheel. During a conversation about the carmaker’s profits last week, Musk said the ability to drive alone will become the company’s most important source of profitability over time.
In September, Tesla drew criticism after sending an over-the-air software update to its vehicles aimed at improving the way its Autopilot driver assistance system handles crash scenes without starting a download.
The latest withdrawal comes when NHTSA is in the midst of investigations into Tesla’s autopilot and video game systems, which were released by US regulators last year when NHTSA tightened its control over Tesla.
(Adds the affected models starting from paragraph 4)
– With the assistance of Stefan Nikola.