Tesla supports investor petition

Tesla supports investor petition

EV giant Tesla Inc TSLA expressed support for a shareholder’s petition urging the U.S. auto safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reconsider classifying over-the-air software updates for safety concerns as “recalls.”

What Happened: The petition on change.org, initiated by Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt, urges the NHTSA to send electronic recall notifications instead of letters and to stop classifying over-the-air software updates aimed at fixes as recalls.

Currently, the NHTSA requires automakers to send paper letters to owners affected by a recall. The petition calls for the auto safety regulator to drop this requirement due to environmental and cost concerns.

“The NHTSA should implement a modern recall notification policy that allows manufacturers to send owners an electronic notification, including via email, text message, in-vehicle, or in-app notifications, instead of a paper notification,” the petition reads.

The second request concerns the classification of an OTA software update to fix an issue as a recall. Currently, any issue fixed physically or via a software update is deemed a recall by the agency.

“Properly classifying remedies performed through OTA software updates to distinguish this type of remedy from a physical repair will provide consumers [a] greater understanding of their vehicle’s real-time condition and improve vehicle safety,” the petition stated.

Merritt, with over 600,000 followers on X, formerly Twitter, shared the petition on his profile. He mentioned discussing the issues addressed in the petition with Tesla, stating that the EV giant is actively working on them.

“NHTSA should see the public’s support for these changes,” he wrote in the post.

Musk On Recalls: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously criticized the use of the term “recall.” In a recent post, he argued that labeling software update fixes as “recalls” is an “anachronistic standard.” He compared it to phones, stating that if that were the standard, phones would be recalled every few weeks.

Musk’s comments followed the company’s “recall” of about 2.2 million vehicles, including the Cybertruck, due to concerns about a smaller font size for warning lights affecting the visibility of crucial safety information. The issue was resolved through an update that only made minor adjustments to the screen.

The CEO has previously also slammed the terminology as “flat out wrong” and called for a stop on physical letter notifications in the event of a vehicle recall.

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