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Tesla owners are peeved about an update that was meant to fix Autopilot

Tesla owners are complaining about a software update.
Tesla owners are complaining about a software update.Chicago Tribune
  • Some Tesla owners are complaining about the company's Autopilot update.

  • The December update added in more alerts and driver supervision to address safety concerns.

  • Tesla's driver-assist feature has faced scrutiny from US safety regulators over the years.

Some Tesla owners aren't too happy about a recent software update that targets the carmaker's driver-assist feature.

Tesla sent out the over-the-air update in December. It was designed to make Tesla's Autopilot safer by adding new alerts and increasing driver supervision to make sure drivers maintained their focus on the road while using the feature, Tesla's website says. The carmaker also said it would suspend drivers who failed to use the software responsibly.

The alerts, which remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel when using Autopilot, are appearing more prominently and frequently on the Tesla's display, the Journal reported.

Model 3 owner Larry Pecan told The Wall Street Journal that the update turned one of his favorite features into a hassle. He said the new alerts will warn him he's taken his eyes off the road if he attempts to perform routine tasks, like checking his mirrors or changing the radio station.

Another Tesla owner, Christian Fielden, told the Journal the update made him feel like his car was "bullying" him.

The publication said it found at least 30 Tesla owners had filed complaints about the update with US automotive safety regulators.

Tesla fans have also started criticizing the update on social media, with some blaming the update on safety regulators, who have been critical of Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features.

"It's becoming infuriating how little forgiveness it has," one user posted on X. "A Tesla should be the most fun car to drive and the NHTSA requests shouldn't change that."

A Tesla spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla issued the voluntary recall on December 13 — more than two years after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrated launched a probe into Autopilot and reports of Teslas that had crashed into emergency vehicles while using the driver-assist feature.

Tesla has warned that its Autopilot feature and its Full Self-Driving add-on require a licensed operator and are not a substitute for a driver.

Do you own a Tesla or have insight to share? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email and device at gkay@insider.com

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