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NHTSA begins preliminary investigation into phantom braking at Tesla>

The wave of complaints about so-called phantom braking by the autopilot system in US authority NHTSA’s Tesla Model 3 and Model Y isn’t stopping — and they announced Thursday that they’ve opened a formal preliminary investigation. after counted 100 of them in four days at the beginning of February alone It was, the NHTSA now writes a total of 354 complaints in the past nine months. As part of the preliminary investigation, you want to take a closer look at what initially affects an estimated 416,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y from 2021 and 2022.

A wave of complaints from Tesla in the United States only

The NHTSA summarizes complaints that when using autopilot functions, including adaptive cruise control, unexpected hard braking can occur without warning or known cause, often occurring repeatedly during the same flight. this is Tesla’s behavior has been known in Europe for some time It is referred to there as phantom brake, as in the United States. Lately, however, there hasn’t been such a wave of complaints on this side of the Atlantic.

In this regard, suspicions arose that US-specific factors contribute, especially since the times are right: in May 2021, Tesla stated on its support pages that The North American Model 3 and Model Y are no longer equipped with a radar sensor Installation. CEO Elon Musk previously announced it as a necessary step on the path to self-driving: Cameras are more accurate than radar, which is why Tesla relies on “sight only” (the photo above shows the area covered by the cameras and ultrasound). However, delivery of the Model 3 and Model Y without radar has yet to be announced from Europe or China.

NHTSA reported in their message For the initial investigation there are no possible causes. But the statement of 354 bogus complaints in nine months indicates that it began last May. In addition, according to the authority, it only concerns the Model 3 and the Model Y from 2021 and 2022, that is, mostly after Radar was scrapped last May.

Autopilot investigation may lead to recall

after Information from NHTSA They begin most of their investigations at a preliminary investigation level, as now with the two Tesla models. The goal is to collect initially limited information about a potential problem, for which four months have been set. The result of this could be a close or deeper investigation over the course of 12 months or a recall. However, in these actions, manufacturers still have the opportunity to decide on a voluntary withdrawal if it becomes expected to order the authorities. This was the case, for example Tesla recently recalled 578607 Model 3 through Model X in early Februarywhich addressed the relatively insignificant issue of its external loudspeakers playing sounds other than those allowed to warn pedestrians.