Tesla Recalls 362,000 Cars Over Driver Assist Safety Concerns
Safety concerns over Tesla’s driver-assist technology have hit a fever pitch as the electric vehicle manufacturer is now being forced to recall some 362,000 cars.
The recalled vehicles are equipped with Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” driver-assistance system, the New York Times reports. FSD, currently in beta mode, is said to be more advanced than Tesla’s Autopilot system, which has come under fire following a series of crashes.
“The technology allows a vehicle to “steer, accelerate, brake and change lanes on its own,” Neal Boudette writes for the Times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the tech also allows cars to exceed speed limits and blow through intersections in “an unlawful or unpredictable manner,” increasing the risk of a crash.
Tesla drivers who have the “Full Self Driving” system installed on their cars can join the beta program for a cost of $15,000 upfront or $199 per month.
The recall covers certain 2016-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles, as well as 2017-2023 Model 3 and 2020-2023 Model Y vehicles. The recalled cars are either equipped with or pending installation of FSD Beta.
Tesla will release an over-the-air software update to address the defect, free of charge, according to a letter from NHTSA to the company.
NHTSA is already looking into 41 crashes over the last seven years involving Tesla vehicles using the advanced driver assistance systems, according to the Times. A total of 14 of the collisions were fatal, leaving 19 people dead.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department is reportedly looking into alleged claims by Tesla that the technology allows vehicles to drive themselves. And a lawsuit in California is testing whether Tesla is responsible for accidents that happen while Autopilot mode is engaged.
California Tesla Owners: Know Your Lemon Law Rights
There is some good news for Tesla owners in California. You have important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
Formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law requires car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty.
The law also forces auto companies to buy back cars that they cannot or will not fix. That includes compensating the owner for the vehicle’s purchase price, along with financing fees, rental car costs and other related expenses.
A carmaker can instead offer to replace the vehicle. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
An experienced California lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.