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Tesla ‘recalls’ 11,704 vehicles over automatic emergency braking issue, already done over-the-air

Tesla has issued an official “recall” with NTHSA for 11,704 vehicles over a problem resulting in false automatic emergency braking events and forward-collision warnings.

While it’s officially a “recall,” there was no physical recall of the vehicles as the issue is already fixed with an over-the-air software update.

The issue emerged out of the 2021.36.5.2 software update released last week.

In the recall notice released by NTHSA today, Tesla explained the chronology of the recall:

  • Late Saturday, October 23, 2021, Tesla released 2021.36.5.2 to vehicles in the limited early access Full-Self Driving (Beta) population.
  • The next morning, October 24, 2021, Tesla began to receive reports of false FCW and AEB events from customers. In a matter of hours, we investigated the reports and took actions to mitigate any potential safety risk. This included cancelling 2021.36.5.2 on vehicles that had not installed it, disabling FCW and AEB on affected vehicles, and/or reverting software to the nearest available version. Contemporaneously, we worked on identifying the root cause and developing a corrective OTA solution.
  • By the evening on the same day, we deterministically reproduced the condition, identified the root cause, and developed software release 2021.36.5.3 as a correction solution. Global engineering and quality assurance teams performed testing and validation on the new release throughout the night and into the next morning, and were successfully unable to produce the condition.
  • On Monday morning, October 25, 2021, after completing validation, we began deploying 2021.36.5.3 OTA to the subject population and re-enabled FCW and AEB features on vehicles with 2021.36.5.3 installed.
  • On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, an OTA recall determination was voluntarily made.

Basically, all 11,704 vehicles of all models that received the update were affected.

Here’s the full NHTSA recall notice:

[scribd id=536697844 key=key-lNJOE7ltSYQ8VmSaz7TN mode=scroll]

Tesla has previously fought to call those updates “recalls” since there’s no physical “recall” of the vehicles.

However, when automakers have to fix an issue related to safety, NHTSA always makes them go through an official recall notice even if the update is already fixed via an over-the-air software update.

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