American safety officials are investigating a complaint from a Tesla driver who says the car’s “fully self-driving” software took control and performed an unsafe maneuver, resulting in a serious accident.
Earlier this month, a 2021 Tesla Model Y Small SUV owned by a woman in Brea, California, drove on the wrong lane and was hit by another driver.
No one was injured in the software-controlled car accident on November 3, but the car was badly damaged on the driver’s side, the complaint said.
According to a complaint from the vehicle’s driver to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the driver testing the SUV received a warning from the car halfway through and tried to turn the steering wheel to avoid other traffic.
However, the driver said she was unable to regain control and the car continued to forcibly enter the wrong lane, creating “an unsafe maneuver that put everyone at risk,” the complaint said.
“The car went into the wrong lane and I was hit by another driver in the lane next to my lane,” the driver wrote.
This is reportedly the first such incident of a breakdown in Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software, which resulted in a crash and possibly the driver’s life.
Tesla has not yet commented on the incident. The world’s most valuable auto company closed its public relations department last year and did not respond to a message from the Associated Press demanding a response to the complaint.
The traffic safety authority announced that the accident was known. “NHTSA is aware of the consumer complaint in question and is in contact with the manufacturer to collect additional information,” said an NHTSA spokesman on Friday.
Tesla, which recalled nearly 12,000 vehicles earlier this month, claims that “autopilot” and “full self-driving” are driver assistance systems and, despite their names, cannot drive themselves.
Drivers who drive the car must be ready to intervene at any time, the company said.
Additional reporting by AP