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Tesla Faces an Unexpected US Investigation

]Tesla has become the subject of yet another inquiry by US auto safety officials, this time in response to accusations that its cars can suddenly halt on the road for no explicable reason.

The government claims it has received 354 complaints of Tesla Model 3 and Y customers in the last nine months regarding “phantom braking.” The investigation will encompass around 416,000 automobiles from the model years 2021 through 2022.

There were no accidents or injuries reported.

Adaptive cruise control plus “Autopilot,” which permits the vehicles to autonomously brake but also steer within respective lanes, are among the partially automated driver-assist capabilities available.

According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday, automobiles could brake suddenly at highway speeds.

“Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, and often repeatedly during a single drive cycle,” the agency says.

Several owners within complaints say they were afraid of a motorway rear-end collision.

Tesla was reached out to for comment on Thursday.

It’s the Texas automaker’s 4th formal probe in the last 3 years, as well as the NHTSA has overseen 15 Tesla recalls until January 2021. Furthermore, since 2016, the agency has dispatched investigators to as many as 33 collisions involving Teslas equipped with driver-assist technologies, in which 11 persons were killed.

A Tesla owner from Austin in Texas stated that a Model Y on Autopilot brakes for no apparent reason on two-lane roads and freeways within one of the concerns.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been at odds with US and California government agencies for years, battling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and, most significantly, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In October, Tesla recalled over 12,000 vehicles for a related phantom braking issue, prompting the probe on Thursday. A bug in the company’s more comprehensive “Full Self-Driving” software was fixed with a software update online.

A few Tesla drivers have already been beta testing the “Full Self-Driving” software on public roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also requested information on the testing, including a Tesla mandate that testers do not reveal any information.

The investigation is part of the agency’s ongoing enforcement activities, including Autopilot plus “Full Self-Driving” software. Considering their names, neither characteristic can drive automobiles without human intervention.

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