Tesla faces huge recall over danger to pedestrians

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It’s the fourth recall in the last two weeks for world’s biggest electric carmaker

Tesla is recalling almost 580,000 cars in the US because of a sound feature that can obscure audible warnings for pedestrians, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Some Tesla vehicles have what the company dubbed a “Boombox” function that allows drivers to play various sounds over an external speaker while the cars are in motion, which violates federal safety standards, as electric cars move quietly and require warning sounds for pedestrians.

“While Boombox and the pedestrian alert sound are mutually exclusive sounds, sounds emitted using Boombox could be construed to obscure or prevent the PWS (pedestrian warning system) from complying” with safety standards, AP quotes the NHTSA as saying.

The government agency says that a software update that would disable the “Boombox” in drive, reverse, or neutral, would cure the problem.

The recall covers certain 2020 through 2022 Tesla Model X, S, and Y vehicles, as well as 2017 through 2022 Model 3s, says AP.

This is the fourth such measure announced in the past two weeks. On Wednesday, Tesla said it was recalling nearly 27,000 vehicles in the US over concerns that the cabin heating systems may not defrost the windshield quickly enough, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.

Last Friday it was announced that over 800,000 vehicles were affected by a seat belt warning system failure. Also last week, a recall was announced of nearly 54,000 vehicles with a “full self-driving” driver-assist feature that allowed the cars to run through stop signs at low speeds without actually stopping.

Thursday’s recall is the fifteenth by Tesla since January 2021, according to NHTSA records cited by AP. The safety watchdog has opened multiple investigations of the company’s vehicles.

Tesla is the world’s biggest producer of electric cars. The company delivered nearly a million vehicles worldwide in 2021, nearly doubling its figures for 2020.

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