Tesla Self-Driving Car Recalls and Union Problems Leave the Company in a Bad Spot

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 18, 2023

Tesla has been in a precarious spot for some time now because of probes into the EV car maker’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features. However, nothing big happened until now, with 363,000 cars being recalled as part of the larger investigation by US safety regulators.

At the same time, the EV manufacturer faces problems related to the recent unionization push in New York. The union is alleging that Tesla fired workers in retaliation to the New York Autopilot workers union campaign, while Tesla is claiming that the firings were the result of routine performance reviews.

Tesla Self-Driving Car Recalls

There have been numerous problems with self-driving cars since their inception, and while Tesla has always seemed to have a firm grasp on the technology, even they are experiencing hiccups. That includes problems with the “Full Self-Driving” system that has been the subject of several probes from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NHTSA released documents saying that Tesla will fix the concerns with a software update in the near future. There are various concerns that ultimately led to the recall, including behavior such as:

  • Traveling through an intersection while in a turn-only lane
  • Failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs
  • Driving through an intersection during a yellow light without proper caution
  • Not adequately responding to changes in posted speed limits
  • Not accounting for the driver’s adjustments in speed

According to the NHTSA, “FSD beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash.”

Those problems have convinced Tesla to enact a recall, pulling 363,000 cars from the road. However, the company apparently disagrees with an analysis of the problem presented by the regulatory agency. The recall covers certain:

  • Model Ss
  • Model Xs
  • Model 3s
  • Model Ys

Tesla’s stock price dropped Thursday, but it has already started to climb again. However, it is likely to continue to fluctuate in the days to come as issues with Full-Self Driving and unionization continue.

Unionization and Retaliation

Tesla workers in New York declared earlier this week that they were launching a union campaign, which could mean major labor problems for Musk and the company. The letter announcing the decision said that they would unionize with the Workers United Upstate New York.

However, things have not gone smoothly since the announcement, with Tesla not even waiting a day before it fired dozens of employees at the plant in Buffalo, New York. While Tesla denies the allegations, the Workers United union has called it an illegal termination, even filing with the US National Labor Relations Board.

According to the filing, the termination was a retaliation to “discourage union activity” after the announcement of the union campaign. Because of that, the union has asked the labor board to seek an injunction with the federal court to put a stop to the “destruction of employee rights” at the hands of Tesla.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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