Why Tesla’s “Self-Driving” Recall Matters - Recall Barrier Blockade Warning Sign Defective Auto Car Repair F

Why Tesla’s “Self-Driving” Recall Matters

Injury Lawyer

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled every Tesla model that features a full self-driving beta. The agency, which is tasked with minimizing the likelihood that Americans will die or be seriously injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes, has indicated that the FSD Beta feature may cause all affected models to act in ways that are unsafe.

While it would be easy to joke about the fact that this situation could be the opening scene to a sci-fi film, television series, or book featuring technology that is slowly becoming sentient, the real-world consequences of the FSD Beta glitches are no laughing matter.

What Is Going On?

The FSD Beta program, which costs Tesla operators $15,000 upfront, has the capacity to broadly act “in an unlawful or unpredictable manner,” according to the NHTSA. This risk of acting out understandably increases the risk that the affected vehicle will cause a motor vehicle crash. To remedy the issue at hand, Tesla will be providing an over-the-air software update. Until an affected vehicle has successfully transferred the update, it should not be driven.

This is problematic, as Tesla isn’t expected to mail out notifications about the issues at hand until mid-April of this year. The idea that affected vehicles will be traveling on U.S. streets before many of their owners are even notified of the dangers that they, their passengers, and everyone around them now face is – quite frankly – unacceptable and unreasonably dangerous.

The NHTSA has noted that the affected vehicles – as currently outfitted – have the potential to enter intersections marked by stop signs without stopping and to travel through intersections if they are traveling in turn-only lanes. Other challenges that have been identified so far include the risk of driving through yellow lights without exercising caution and incorrect and unsafe responses to speed limit changes.

What Recalls Mean for Injury Victims

As an experienced injury lawyer – including those who practice at Davis & Johnson Law Office– can confirm, recalls are almost always announced in the wake of government regulators, manufacturers or both kinds of entities learning about harm that has been caused as a result of someone’s defective or unreasonably dangerous products. This means that, by the time a recall is announced, people have likely already been hurt as a result of the defective or dangerous product being scrutinized.

These injury victims – or their surviving loved ones, in the case of wrongful death – may have already begun the process of filing lawsuits. Additional injury victims, upon hearing about the recall in question, may realize that they have a cause of action and begin exploring their legal options. In either event, recalls – including the most recent Tesla recall – may serve as evidence that something has truly gone wrong with a product and that it has resulted in harm. This evidence may then, in turn, help injury victims to pursue compensation from negligent or reckless manufacturers via a products liability lawsuit.  

If you are involved in an accident, consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive proper compensation.