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Tesla FSD Faced a "Recall" - Why The Word Recall is Misleading

Recently, numerous news sites talked about how Tesla had a recall of over 50,000 vehicles. It makes it sound like there was a big problem with those vehicles and customers had to take their Tesla's for maintenance somewhere and get parts replaced. The word recall is misleading. Here's why:


Tesla FSD Faced a "Recall" - Why The Word Recall is Misleading

Numerous news sites, such as CNN, Bloomberg and more have stated that Tesla is recalling all 53,822 vehicles with its FSD (full self-driving) software. The ominous headlines make it sound like Tesla has a serious problem and that Tesla needs to address it right away. It sounds scary, ominous, and bad.

The reality is anything but... Here's the truth. NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration did not like that the SOFTWARE of Tesla's FSD system would roll (like a California roll) at stop signs. The software was only doing this when no other cars, people, or objects were in site and when the miles per hour was 30 or less.

So instead of rolling through stop signs at a few miles per hour like most humans do, Tesla now has to modify their software to come to a complete stop at 0 mph, even when nobody else is around, which will feel very robotic for those using the software as their own, or in the future as a robotaxi.

The reality is that there is no need here for Tesla vehicles to go into any kind of repair shop or get parts replaced. All that is happening is that some Tesla software engineers are updating some code and then all vehicles with FSD software are getting the latest update that takes out rolling stops.

This is "Recall" Is Ridiculous

This recall is ridiculous and those news sites that are printing headlines in an ominous nature are doing so just to get clicks based on fear, uncertainty, and doubt. This is known as FUD and many news sites use this as a way to drive traffic to their news. After all, humans respond much more to fear than they do to positive news.

But calling this a recall is ridiculous and needs to stop. The moral and ethical thing to do would be to have an article title that says something like this: NHTSA has Tesla change FSD software to not do rolling stops at stop signs. And even further, those articles need to state the facts that Tesla only did this when nothing was around and when the mph indicated in the area was 30 or less.

It's a much more smooth and human-like experience for a car to do a rolling stop when nothing is around. Millions of humans are doing it every day. I see it all the time when I'm driving. Why does Tesla have to bend to the whims of NHTSA just because they don't like the rolling stop.

There's two things here that need to be fixed:

The first is NHTSA having so much power over little things like this. Having that much power over the software of a company that is in beta and requires that the driver of the vehicle be paying full attention and being ready to take over at any time is going a bit far. There needs to be some counter balance to NHTSA, though I don't know what that is...

The second thing is news sites calling things like this a recall. There needs to be a legal distinction between over the air software updates and physical vehicle recalls that require taking the car into an actual repair shop or service center. This will clear up confusion and help reduce all the FUD going around.

News sites can post what they want of course - hopefully people overall start to see through what they're trying to do and move on to other news sites that are more honest.

What do you think about Tesla's "recall"? Is it unfair to call this a recall? Will there be more "recalls" in the future? Should Tesla's FSD software be allowed to do rolling stops when no other vehicles, people, and objects are around?

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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.

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