US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that it is “working really fast” on the Tesla autopilot investigation. It was opened in August 2021. The acting head of NHTSA, Ann Carlson further stated that there is technical expertise required, so they are going to be careful and investigate.
Carlson said, “We’re investing a lot of resources. The resources require a lot of technical expertise, actually some legal novelty and so we’re moving as quickly as we can, but we also want to be careful and make sure we have all the information we need.” In June, NHTSA upgraded to an engineering analysis of its defect probe into 830,000 Tesla vehicles with driver assistance system Autopilot and involving crashes with parked emergency vehicles. That step was necessary before the agency could demand a recall.
According to a tweet, drivers with more than 10,000 miles using Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software system should be able to disable the “steering wheel nag,” an alert that instructs drivers to hold the wheel to confirm they are paying attention. Musk responded, “Agreed, update coming in January.” Carlson said the agency has “a very extensive investigation ongoing. We are in conversations with Tesla about this latest communication.”