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Crackdown on Tesla for Safety Hazards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation into a traffic incident involving a Tesla striking a pedestrian. Local authorities say the driver of a 2022 Tesla Model Y failed to stop for a school bus while it was dropping off students, and one of the students was struck after having just exited the bus. The NHTSA investigation was triggered because it was believed that the driver of the Tesla was using a partially automated driving system at the time of the crash.

Since 2016, NHTSA investigators have probed extensively into at least 30 different auto accidents involving Teslas using driver-assist technology. These premium options are marketed under terms like “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving.” Critics call these options misleading, since Tesla insists that drivers using them must keep their hands on the wheel and maintain vehicular awareness at all times.

Michael Brooks is the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington. He believes that Tesla has a unique responsibility in addressing these safety concerns.

Brooks said, “I’ve been saying probably for a couple of years now, they need to figure out why these vehicles aren’t recognizing flashing lights for a big starter. NHTSA needs to step in and get them to do a recall because that’s a serious safety issue.”

In February, NHTSA pressure resulted in Tesla recalling more than 300,000 vehicles because their driver assist software was violating traffic laws. Tesla said the problem was corrected via an over-the-air software update, similar to how smartphones receive updates. This action followed a request by the U.S. Department of Justice for Tesla to turn over internal documents related to its “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” features.

Possible Preaching Angle:

When people put too much trust in technology, there can be dangerous consequences. Tech companies must put public safety over profits and innovation.

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