Tesla Pauses Rollout of Self-Driving Software Facing Recall

The interior of a Tesla Model S P90D
The interior of a Tesla Model S P90D, a model with some autopilot features, during a 2016 exhibition in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg News)

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Tesla Inc. has temporarily stopped rolling out its $15,000 driver-assistance system until it addresses issues that led the carmaker to recall almost 363,000 vehicles.

The pause affects customers who have opted in for Full Self-Driving Beta — a support feature for drivers who are responsible for operating their car at all times — but have not yet received a software update containing the feature, according to Tesla’s website. The support page relates to the recall the company announced earlier in February.

The feature known as FSD Beta may allows Tesla vehicles to exceed speed limits or travel in unlawful or unpredictable ways that increase crash risk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Feb. 16. The agency cited examples including traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering stop sign-controlled intersections without coming to a complete stop, and proceeding into intersections during a steady-yellow traffic signal without caution.

Tesla said in its recall report that it expected to deploy an over-the-air software fix to its vehicles “in the coming weeks.”

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