Tesla cars brake for no reason, US road safety worries

US Highway Safety has alerted Tesla to some disturbing “phantom braking” issues. Drivers have indeed had the unpleasant surprise of stopping unexpectedly, including on the highway.

Will Tesla again suffer a controversy of which only the automaker has the secret? It turns out that many cases of sudden braking have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American equivalent of traffic safety. The administration received 758 complaints from Model 3 and Model Y drivers, mostly 2021 and 2022 models.

Tesla Vision in question?

“Ghost braking” all the more worrying as they occur at any time, including when the car is launched at high speed on the highway. The NHTSA indicates that complaints had already been registered last year. Fortunately, however, there have been no reports of injuries or serious accidents related to this problem.

NHTSA asked Tesla for specifics, specifically reports sent by motorists of crashes, injuries, fatalities and property damage claims. A 14-page letter was also sent to the manufacturer to explain these cases of false braking recently identified. The company has until June 20 to respond, with the possibility of more time.

More problematic for Tesla, these problems seem to come after the abandonment of the radar on the front of the cars. The manufacturer now only uses the on-board cameras of the vehicles within the Tesla Vision technology. Elon Musk’s group is the only one in the industry that only operates cameras.

The NHTSA has also asked for more explanations on the behavior of video sensors in the case of reflections, shadows or even glare. Should we see a cause and effect link? In any case, Tesla will have to reassure everyone.

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