Recently, Tesla has made an announcement about the recall of specific Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y vehicles, predominantly due to issues related to the Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software. This recall action was initiated after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) flagged potential safety risks associated with the FSD Beta system. In this detailed discussion, we aim to delve into the specifics of the recall, the risks involved, and the corrective actions proposed by Tesla. Additionally, we aim to shed light on the legal implications of this recall, particularly from the perspective of Tesla owners in California, with special emphasis on the California Lemon Law. As an owner of a Tesla vehicle, understanding your entitlements and safeguards under the California Lemon Law is crucial to ensure the safety and regulatory compliance of your vehicle.

Unpacking the Tesla Recall

As per NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V085000, a total of 362,758 Tesla vehicles manufactured between the years 2016 and 2023 are impacted by this recall. The models included are: • Model S from 2016-2023 • Model X from 2016-2023 • Model 3 from 2017-2023 • Model Y from 2020-2023

The principal cause for this recall is the FSD Beta software, which could result in vehicles exhibiting erratic or illegal behaviors in intersection scenarios. The identified potential issues include: • Vehicles continuing straight at an intersection while in a turn-only lane • Vehicles proceeding into an intersection controlled by a stop sign without halting completely • Vehicles moving into an intersection during a solid yellow traffic signal without appropriate caution

Additionally, the FSD Beta system might not sufficiently react to alterations in posted speed limits or may not consider the driver’s manual adjustment of the vehicle’s speed to exceed posted speed limits.

These flaws escalate the chance of a collision, posing a significant risk to both Tesla vehicle occupants and other road users.

Actions Proposed by Tesla and Owner Notification

To rectify these flaws, Tesla is planning to deploy an over-the-air (OTA) software update free of cost. It’s anticipated that owner notification letters will be mailed by April 15, 2023. Meanwhile, owners seeking additional information can get in touch with Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752 and mention the recall number SB-23-00-001.

Legal Consequences and California Case Law

The recall carries potential legal consequences for Tesla owners in California. Under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (California Civil Code § 1790 et seq.), also referred to as the California Lemon Law, consumers who procure or lease a new vehicle plagued with significant flaws or issues that cannot be fixed within a reasonable number of attempts are eligible for a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price, subject to a reasonable usage fee deduction.

In the context of the Tesla recall, owners who face consistent problems related to the FSD Beta system, despite receiving the OTA software update, may be entitled to protections under the California Lemon Law. In such scenarios, it’s important for owners to maintain comprehensive records of any problems, repair attempts, and interactions with Tesla or its authorized repair centers.

While no specific California case law directly addresses the FSD Beta system, the principles of the California Lemon Law might still be applicable. For instance, in Oregel v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1094, the court ruled that a substantial reduction in battery capacity and range could qualify a vehicle a “lemon”. Analogous reasoning could be applicable to vehicles facing persistent issues with the FSD Beta system, even after the OTA software update.

Tesla owners in California also need to be aware of their entitlements under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) set forth by the NHTSA. These standards are crafted to ensure vehicular safety on roads, and manufacturers are obligated to rectify any defects that pose a safety risk. With regards to the Tesla recall, potential safety risks associated with the FSD Beta system have been identified by the NHTSA, and Tesla is undertaking measures to address these risks via the OTA software update.

Guidance for Tesla Owners

If you are an owner of an affected Tesla vehicle, it’s crucial to follow these steps to ensure your safety and the safety of your vehicle:

  1. Keep an eye on your mailbox for the owner notification letter from Tesla, anticipated to arrive by April 15, 2023. This letter will provide further details about the recall and the OTA software update.
  2. For any questions or concerns about the recall, contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752, and be sure to mention the recall number SB-23-00-001.
  3. Once the OTA software update is available, it is essential to install it on your vehicle at the earliest to rectify potential safety issues related to the FSD Beta system.
  4. Maintain thorough records of any problems you experience with your vehicle, particularly those associated with the FSD Beta system. Document any attempts at repair, interactions with Tesla or its authorized repair centers, and any other relevant information.
  5. If the FSD Beta system in your vehicle continues to exhibit issues despite receiving the OTA software update, consult with a seasoned lemon law attorney to discuss your rights under California law.

Seek Assistance from Michael Humphries, a Skilled California Lemon Law Attorney

Dealing with a vehicle recall can be daunting and confusing. If you’re a Tesla owner affected by the FSD Beta recall and need help understanding your entitlements or navigating the recall process, Michael Humphries is available to provide assistance. With a wealth of experience handling lemon law cases, Michael can offer the guidance and support you need to ensure your vehicle is safe and adheres to all applicable laws.

Whether your concern is related to the FSD Beta recall or you have inquiries about other vehicle-related legal matters, Michael is here to help. Connect with him today for a consultation and avail expert advice to safeguard your rights as a consumer and resume your journey on the road with confidence.

The Tesla recall associated with the FSD Beta software signifies a serious concern for owners of affected Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y in California. By understanding the specifics of the recall, the potential risks, and the corrective measures proposed by Tesla, as well as your entitlements and safeguards under the California Lemon Law, you can take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and regulatory compliance of your vehicle.

If you are grappling with ongoing issues with your Tesla’s FSD Beta system or have concerns about your rights under the California Lemon Law, remember that Michael Humphries is here to assist. Reach out to him for a consultation and let his expertise guide you through the recall process and ensure your rights as a consumer are upheld.