Government Says Tesla Autopilot Crashes Have Continued After Patch That Was Supposed to Fix Them

Blind Eye

In December, Tesla had to issue software updates to over 2 million vehicles with Autopilot — but the crashes have continued after it.

The recall followed a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into hundreds of collisions and several dozen deaths involving the company's driver assistance software.

This week, however, the NHTSA revealed in a new filing that it had found Tesla didn't adequately address the issue, citing "several concerns."

In short, the Elon Musk-led company's relationship with federal regulators is as rocky as ever — and its notably laissez-faire approach to what it misleadingly calls "self-driving" tech isn't exactly scoring points in Washington, DC.

Nags and Suspensions

Last month, the NHTSA released a scathing report finding that drivers who use Tesla's controversial "Full Self-Driving" add-on "were not sufficiently engaged in the driving task" and that Tesla "did not adequately ensure that drivers maintained their attention."

At the time, the regulator revealed that it had opened a fresh investigation into the automaker's purported fix, asking it to provide more information.

The NHTSA identified at least 20 crashes involving Tesla vehicles that had the latest Autopilot update installed. Nine of these 20 crashes involved vehicles slamming into objects in front of them. The regulator wants the EV maker to turn over a wealth of data, including telemetry collected during crashes involving either Autopilot or Full Self-Driving.

It's not just the NHTSA — the Justice Department has opened its own investigation, suggesting Tesla may have committed securities and wire fraud by making misleading claims about the company's "self-driving" tech.

Musk has long made eyebrow-raising claims about the autonomy of his carmaker's vehicles.

Is reality catching up with the mercurial billionaire, with several government investigations probing Tesla and its driver assistance tech, right around the time the company is going through a financial crisis?

Musk has thrown much of the company's remaining weight behind the development of a "robotaxi" at the cost of pretty much all the employees working on Tesla's lauded Supercharger network.

It's a multibillion-dollar bet — and given what we've seen so far, the company still has a lot to prove.

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