As we just recently reported, Tesla recalled nearly 2,800 for a suspension-related issue, which sounds like a serious problem, though the American electric automaker says it hasn't resulted in any injuries.
You may remember, Tesla recently sent out an over-the-air (OTA) software update to add a new feature that "sees" and responds to emergency vehicle lights at night. It was obviously in response to the multiple crashes involving Tesla's vehicles and stopped emergency vehicles.
That said, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Tesla why it never issued a recall along with that specific update. As far as NHTSA is concerned, Tesla discovered (or was apprised of) a safety issue. It obviously acknowledged it, since it delivered an OTA update to fix it. However, there was never a related recall. NHTSA wrote:
“Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA."
While this latest recall impacting over 11,000 vehicles may or may not be related, Tesla has issued a recall for the OTA update, just days after it issued the suspension-related recall.
The latest recall is labeled as NHTSA campaign number 21V846000, "Unexpected Activation of Automatic Emergency Brake." NHTSA writes that an unexpected activation of the cars' AEB system "may cause the car to stop suddenly, increasing the risk of a crash." Tesla's recall number for this issue is SB-21-00-004.
Essentially, a communication error could cause some of Tesla's cars to display a false forward collision warning (FCW), which could then cause the system to brake when it doesn't have to. Many people refer to a similar error as "phantom braking," though phantom braking doesn't necessarily have warnings associated with it.
Tesla has already released a free OTA update to fix the issue. It will mail letters to the owners of the affected cars by December 28, 2021. Owners can reach out to Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 or contact NHTSA using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. You can also follow the NHTSA source link below.