Regulators are concerned about the ‘Boombox’ feature that can play sounds through an external speaker and obscure pedestrian warning signals.
“Boombox” feature triggers recall
Tesla is recalling almost 579,000 vehicles in the United States because of a “Boombox” feature that may play music through an external speaker and mask audible pedestrian warnings.
Tesla is the latest company to issue a recall, following three others that were announced in the previous two weeks as US safety authorities intensify their focus on the country’s largest electric vehicle maker.
Tesla has made decisions that violate federal motor vehicle safety standards in two of the recalls, while the others are software bugs.
On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on its website that Tesla’s vehicles include a “Boombox” function that allows drivers to play music while driving.
According to the NHTSA, it also breaches federal safety regulations that demand audible pedestrian signals for electric cars, which make little noise when driving.
The problem will be remedied with an over-the-air software upgrade that disables “Boombox,” in drive, reverse, and neutral, according to the agency.
“The Boombox functionality allows a customer to play preset or custom sounds through the PWS [pedestrian warning system] external speaker when the vehicle is parked or in motion,” the NHTSA says in documents posted on its website.
“While Boombox and the pedestrian alert sound are mutually exclusive sounds, sounds emitted using Boombox could be construed to obscure or prevent the PWS from complying” with safety standards, the agency wrote.
The NHTSA said that Tesla is not aware of any crashes or injuries due to the problem, The Guardian reports.
Earlier this week, Tesla was in the news because of an “unfair and counterproductive” lawsuit.
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