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Tesla holiday software update to be rolled out soon, says Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk 1640227330422 1640227330574

Tesla Inc’s holiday software update is “being tested with internal owners today,” Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in a tweet.

Musk’s tweet notified, “Tesla holiday software release being tested with internal owners today. Broader rollout starts tomorrow evening.”

Meanwhile, last month in November, Tesla has issued a recall that automatically sent a software update fixing a safety problem in its electric vehicles, apparently heading off a looming confrontation with U.S. safety regulators.

But recall documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website Tuesday don’t address another safety issue specified by the agency when it demanded that Tesla explain why it wasn’t doing recalls for safety-related software updates done over the internet.

The recall covers nearly 12,000 Teslas with a glitch in the “Full Self-Driving” software that can make the cars stop for no good reason. The company’s paperwork says the problems with automatic emergency braking can increase the risk of other vehicles hitting Teslas from behind.

The recall covers all four Tesla models — the S, X, 3 and Y. Tesla documents say a software update sent on Oct. 23 introduced the glitch.

Company documents say Tesla started getting reports from owners the next day about phantom braking. In a matter of hours, the company says it canceled further updates or reverted the software to a previous version. That disabled emergency braking on some of the vehicles.

On October 24, the company traced the cause to a communication disconnect between two computer chips. It developed another software update to fix the problem and sent it out on October 25, according to the documents. The company said it voluntarily agreed to do a recall on October 26.

The move appears to show that Tesla now will issue a recall when it pushes out software updates to fix safety issues. It also sets a precedent for other automakers that they do the same.

On October 12, regulators sent a letter to Tesla demanding to know why the company didn’t recall its vehicles when it sent a software update to fix a problem with its Autopilot partially automated driving system. The update addressed detection of emergency vehicles parked on roads while crews responded to crashes.

The NHTSA opened an investigation of Autopilot in August after getting reports of a dozen crashes into emergency vehicles. The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, almost everything that Tesla has sold in the U.S. since the start of the 2014 model year. Of the dozen crashes that are part of the probe, 17 people were injured and one was killed.


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