Concerns over Tesla Self-Driving Technology

by | Mar 12, 2023 | Auto Accident, Firm News, Personal Injury

As the popularity of Tesla vehicles continues to rise, concerns have grown regarding the safety of their self-driving technology. Previously, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a team to investigate a crash involving a Tesla that may have been operating on a partially automated driving system when it struck a student leaving a school bus. This incident raises questions about the reliability of Tesla’s self-driving features, such as Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving.”

Since 2016, NHTSA has investigated over 30 crashes involving Tesla’s suspected of operating on Autopilot or “Full Self-Driving,” resulting in at least 14 fatalities. This increased scrutiny has led to multiple recalls and ongoing investigations into Tesla’s technology. For example, NHTSA is currently looking into steering wheel issues on Model Y SUVs and seat belt problems in some Tesla models.  Conveniently for vehicle owners, NHTSA provides a website to allow you to search for recalls to your model.

In response to these concerns, NHTSA pressured Tesla into recalling nearly 363,000 vehicles with “Full Self-Driving” software, as the system can break traffic laws. This demonstrates the growing need for regulatory oversight and further evaluation of Tesla’s self-driving technology to ensure the safety of all road users.  The recall covers a number of Tesla models.  The recall explains the potential defect caused when Full Self-Driving is engaged:

the feature could potentially infringe upon local traffic laws or customs while executing certain driving maneuvers in the following conditions before some drivers may intervene: 1) traveling or turning through certain intersections during a stale yellow traffic light; 2) 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; 3) 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 4) negotiating a lane change out of certain turn-only lanes to continue traveling straight.

The number of accidents involving self-driving technology suggests that improvements are necessary before this feature is commonplace. As the automotive industry continues to evolve and more self-driving cars hit the roads, it is crucial for car manufacturers, regulators, and consumers to prioritize safety and work together to address these concerns.

Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, and New York.  We have handled numerous cases involving automobile accidents in both federal and state court across the country.  Our attorneys have extensive experience and the skills needed to aggressively represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in a car accident.  The experienced lawyers at Spagnoletti Law Firm have previously been involved in similar cases and can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was involved in an accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.