The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has closed the investigation it started in late 2021 regarding the ability of Tesla vehicles to display video games on the center infotainment screen even while the car was in motion. 

The government agency cleared the American EV brand, saying in its most recent update that no safety-related defect exists, according to TechCrunch.

In 2021, videos surfaced online showing video games being played on the center screen of Tesla vehicles even in motion, which was deemed a safety issue by the NHTSA. Admittedly, the EVs warned those inside that “Playing while the car is in motion is only for passengers,” but nothing could stop the driver from actually playing while driving.

The NHTSA contacted Tesla, saying:

Distraction-affected crashes are a concern, particularly in vehicles equipped with an array of convenience technologies such as entertainment screens. We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer.

Soon after, Tesla rolled out a software update that disabled the gaming feature of its vehicles while on the move, restricting it to a stationary-only feature. The NHTSA released a statement in December 2021 confirming that the American EV maker had agreed to disable the feature until further notice:

Following the opening of a preliminary evaluation of Tesla’s “Passenger Play,” Tesla informed the agency that it is changing the functionality of this feature. In a new software update, “Passenger Play” will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motion. The Agency maintains regular discussions with all manufacturers to discuss potential safety concerns of these systems, including Tesla’s response to our concerns about this feature.

The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely. NHTSA constantly assesses how manufacturers identify and safeguard against distraction hazards that may arise due to faults, misuse, or intended use of convenience technologies, including infotainment screens.

We will continue to do so. NHTSA also reviews consumer complaints and a massive amount of data that companies are required to submit on a regular basis, looking for evidence of safety risks. If the data show that such a risk may exist, NHTSA will act immediately.

Even as Tesla reported that 97 percent of vehicles have completed the update within a month of it being issued, the NHTSA continued its investigation, with the agency reiterating at the time that the Vehicle Safety Act bars companies from selling cars that pose significant safety risks, including from distracted driving.

Now, the investigation has officially ended and Tesla has been cleared.

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