NHTSA seeks more info from Tesla in ‘phantom braking’ safety probe


WASHINGTON — The nation’s top car safety regulator is requesting more details from Tesla Inc. to help its investigation of selected Model 3 and Design Y cars outfitted with Autopilot just after stories alleging “phantom braking.”

NHTSA’s request arrives just after the company in February opened the investigation into an estimated 416,000 Product 3 and Design Y motor vehicles from the 2021-22 model years after getting 354 issues of surprising braking even though applying Autopilot’s driver-support features.

In a letter sent Might 4 to Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of discipline good quality, NHTSA explained the amount of studies of surprising brake activation in those automobiles experienced elevated to 758.

The agency is now seeking even more facts from Tesla, including any grievances or lawsuits relevant to the alleged defect as well as reviews involving a crash, personal injury or demise.

Tesla has until finally June 20 to answer, or it could deal with civil penalties of up to virtually $115 million.

In accordance to the letter, posted Friday, NHTSA is asking Tesla to describe any assessments, tests, studies, simulations or very similar steps that have been executed by, or for, the automaker as it relates to the alleged defect. The company also wants to know what components and software package modifications have been made to the impacted vehicles considering that the start out of output.

Other requests consist of a in-depth description of the process style and design and operation, which includes all involved sensor systems, as very well as Tesla’s evaluation of the alleged defect, situations that could result in unpredicted brake activation and linked basic safety hazards.

Tesla, which disbanded its media relations office, did not promptly react to a request for comment.

The electrical automobile maker has continued to encounter larger regulatory scrutiny beneath the Biden administration.

Previous year, NHTSA opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot process immediately after a sequence of crashes involving its designs and unexpected emergency autos. The ongoing probe handles an approximated 765,000 Teslas from the 2014-21 product a long time. Most of the crashes occurred right after dark and in complete resulted in 17 accidents and a person death.

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