NHTSA seeks more info from Tesla in ‘phantom braking’ safety probe

WASHINGTON — The nation’s leading automobile safety regulator is requesting more facts from Tesla Inc. to assist its investigation of particular Product 3 and Model Y cars geared up with Autopilot after stories alleging “phantom braking.”

NHTSA’s ask for will come following the company in February opened the investigation into an believed 416,000 Product 3 and Model Y motor vehicles from the 2021-22 model decades just after getting 354 grievances of unanticipated braking though using Autopilot’s driver-help characteristics.

In a letter sent May well 4 to Eddie Gates, Tesla’s director of subject good quality, NHTSA mentioned the selection of reports of unexpected brake activation in those people automobiles had greater to 758.

The company is now trying to get further more details from Tesla, together with any complaints or lawsuits similar to the alleged defect as nicely as reports involving a crash, injuries or loss of life.

Tesla has right up until June 20 to react, or it could face civil penalties of up to just about $115 million.

According to the letter, posted Friday, NHTSA is asking Tesla to describe any assessments, checks, scientific studies, simulations or equivalent actions that have been conducted by, or for, the automaker as it relates to the alleged defect. The agency also would like to know what hardware and computer software modifications have been manufactured to the affected autos considering the fact that the get started of manufacturing.

Other requests include a thorough description of the process structure and procedure, together with all related sensor technologies, as nicely as Tesla’s evaluation of the alleged defect, conditions that could consequence in surprising brake activation and connected security dangers.

Tesla, which disbanded its media relations department, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The electric vehicle maker has continued to experience greater regulatory scrutiny beneath the Biden administration.

Last yr, NHTSA opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot method soon after a collection of crashes involving its models and unexpected emergency cars. The ongoing probe handles an believed 765,000 Teslas from the 2014-21 model decades. Most of the crashes happened immediately after dim and in whole resulted in 17 injuries and a single dying.