Tesla Autopilot issues trigger 2 million-car recall

14th December 2023
Russell Campbell

Tesla has issued a recall for more than 2 million vehicles sold in the US after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled the company’s Autopilot system is “inadequate” in maintaining driver engagement. Other systems demand drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel and, if visual and audio prompts are ignored, will automatically disengage.


The recall comes after a two-year NTSA probe into several accidents, some of which were fatal, which occurred with Autopilot engaged. The investigation found that Tesla’s Autopilot is open to misuse – like the current YouTuber craze for clambering into the back seat with the system running. 

While the fault’s officially lodged as a recall, the good news is that the fix is an over-the-air software update from Tesla for the Model Y, S, 3 and X built between 5 October 2012 and 7 December this year.


According to the NTSA’s documents, the update will require the driver to maintain control of the car even with Autopilot engaged, add audio-visual alerts, make the system easier to turn on and off and stop you from using Autopilot when it’s not suitable to do so. 

Several incidents involving Autopilot are being investigated. In January 2019, prosecutors filed charges against a man who ran a red light with Autopilot engaged, killing two people. Another incident in 2020 involved a Tesla in Autopilot veering into oncoming traffic at the loss of both drivers, while in July this year, a driver and passenger were killed when their Tesla crashed into the back of a Walmart truck.


Tesla has yet to confirm if it will offer the update in the UK.

  • Tesla

  • Autopilot

  • Electric Avenue

  • Road

  • News

  • tesla-model-s-plaid-nurburgring-onboard-video-goodwood-10092021.jpg


    Video: Tesla Model S Plaid sets Nürburgring "record"

  • tesla_model_s_autopilot_14092016.png

    Erin Baker

    Erin Baker: How a Tesla left me with a headache – of the good kind

  • tesla_roadster_2024_goodwood_28022024_list.jpg


    Elon Musk says the new Tesla Roadster will debut this year