Is Tesla recalling 2 million cars? – No it is not. Is Tesla pushing an update to its cars? Yes.
The media’s recent portrayal of Tesla’s supposed recall of nearly 2 million vehicles is not just inaccurate; it’s a glaring example of misunderstanding and oversimplification of automotive technology, but more importantly, blatant click baiting, so loved by the mainstream media these days. Let’s set the record straight: Tesla isn’t recalling cars in the traditional sense – they are updating the software using their OTA (over the air) update function. But of course, that would not sound so sensational.
What’s Really Happening with Tesla?
Tesla’s approach to problem-solving in their electric vehicles is light-years ahead of traditional recalls. When most automakers would require you to arrange an appointment and drag your car to a dealership, Tesla elegantly solves issues with a simple software update. It’s like updating your smartphone, but it’s your car.
The timeline of what’s really happening
- The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating Tesla for more than two years over whether Tesla vehicles adequately ensure that drivers pay attention when using the driver assistance system.
- Tesla said Autopilot’s software system controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”
- Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson told Reuters earlier this year it’s “really important that driver monitoring systems take into account that humans over-trust technology.”
- Tesla said it will deploy an over-the-air software update that will “incorporate additional controls and alerts to those already existing on affected vehicles to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged.”
You see? That’s about it.
You can read the press release here: https://www.tesla.com/support/vehicle-firmware-prevent-autosteer-misuse
The OTA update, starting with software version 2023.44.30, will begin deployment on or shortly after December 12, 2023, for vehicles equipped with an in-cabin camera and Autopilot Hardware 3.0 or 4.0. Vehicles with other hardware configurations will receive the update later. The update includes increased visual alert prominence, simplified Autosteer engagement, additional checks, and potential Autosteer suspension for repeated failure to maintain driving responsibility.
Owners can check if their vehicle is affected using Tesla’s VIN Recall Search or the NHTSA VIN Recall Search tools. The recall does not disable Autosteer or related features but aims to enhance driver responsibility and safety.
This is what you will see when you enter your Tesla’s VIN.
I am not by any means discounting the seriousness of the situation and the need of an update – if something is called “self-driving”, it simply must work like that, there is no other way around it. Safety is paramount and not even Tesla can wiggle itself out of that. What I am driving at (pun intended) is the media storm with blatantly misrepresented facts.
Why OTA Updates Are a Big Deal
Convenience: Forget about losing your car to a service center for days. Tesla’s OTA updates are like receiving car maintenance while you literally sleep.
Speed and Efficiency: Tesla can roll out fixes globally in the time it takes traditional manufacturers to draft a press release about a recall.
Continuous Evolution: Your Tesla doesn’t just get fixed; it gets better over time. More features, improved performance – it’s like getting a new car with each update.
Cutting Through the “Recall” Nonsense
Calling Tesla’s software updates a “recall” is like saying you’re returning your phone every time you download an app update. It’s a ludicrous comparison. Tesla’s recent move to update nearly 2 million cars is not a sign of failure but a testament to the innovation. They’re addressing issues in real-time, without inconveniencing a single customer. That’s not a recall – that’s customer service.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
It’s high time media stop clinging to outdated notions of what car maintenance should look like. Tesla’s approach to using OTA updates for fixes and improvements is nothing short of revolutionary and other car manufacturers should really follow the suit. It’s efficient, user-friendly, and frankly, it’s how all cars should operate. The media’s portrayal of this as a traditional recall is not just wrong; it’s ridiculous. No go and check whether your Tesla has updated already or not quite yet while you were asleep.