The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just revealed that hundreds of Tesla owners say their vehicles suddenly stop for no reason, even on the freeway.
Tesla is currently under increased scrutiny from US regulators. These recently received 758 complaints about cars made by the company which suddenly brake at high speedmore than double the number of incidents reported earlier this year.
Indeed, this “phantom braking” problem had already been observed mainly on the Model 3 and the Model Y, and especially the 2021 and 2022 models. Documents from the US Department of Transportation showed in February that 356 complaints had been filed about the problem, and that it had already been reported as early as last year.
No injuries have been reported so far
The good news is that the agency said no injuries have been reported so far. However, NHTSA still requested an abundance of information from Tesla, including “ all consumer and field reports it has received of false braking, as well as reports of accidents, injuries, fatalities, and property damage claims “.
NHTSA also wrote Tesla a 14-page letter regarding the most recent complaints. The company has until June 20 to respond.although she is also entitled to request an extension if necessary.
The letter asks Tesla for details on the tests performed on the automated systems when it comes to detecting metal bridges, S-turns, oncoming traffic and cross-traffic, as well as vehicles of various sizes, including large trucks. The agency also wishes to obtain information on how cameras handle reflections, shadows, glare, and blockage from snow or heavy rain.
These “phantom” braking problems come shortly after Tesla made significant changes to the information collected by its Autopilot driver assistance system. Indeed, since last year, the automaker has abandoned the radar on the front of its cars and now only relies on 360-degree cameras, a system that Tesla has dubbed “Tesla Vision”. It remains to be determined whether this change is the cause of recent problems with Autopilot.