Tesla Inc. is disabling a feature in its vehicles that allowed drivers and passengers to play video games while driving, a U.S. highway-safety regulator said Thursday, one day after opening a formal investigation.
Tesla told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is creating a software update to its cars that lock the game feature when vehicles are in motion, the agency said in an emailed statement. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
“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 said in the statement.
The “Passenger Play” function allowed games on a touchscreen located at the center of the dashboard. The NHTSA probe applied to about 580,000 2017-2022 Model 3, S, X and Y vehicles, NHTSA said. It had been available on those vehicles since December 2020.
The NHTSA probe was the latest to look at issues involving Tesla. NHTSA opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system on Aug. 13 after identifying 11 crashes involving first-responder vehicles since 2018. The NHTSA announcement was earlier reported by Associated Press.
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