Washington (December 13, 2023) - Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following joint statement after Tesla recalled more than 2 million of its vehicles equipped with Autosteer, an Autopilot feature, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigates nearly 1,000 crashes in which Autopilot was reported to be engaged:

“This recall is critically needed to make Tesla’s cars safer, but it is egregiously overdue. We have long sounded alarms about Tesla exaggerating the true capabilities of Autopilot and other flawed features. We urge NHTSA to continue its investigations to spur necessary recalls, and Tesla to stop misleading drivers and putting the public in great danger.”

Senators Markey and Blumenthal have long pushed for autonomous vehicle (AV) technology safety. In August 2021, Senators Markey and Blumenthal sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), calling for the agency to launch an investigation into Tesla’s advertising of driving automation systems. In February 2022, the senators sent a letter to Tesla Co-founder and CEO Elon Musk following numerous reports of dangerous braking flaws in Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems and amid several federal safety investigations, voicing serious concerns with the implementation of the company’s technology. In June 2022, Senators Markey and Blumenthal applauded the NHTSA for upgrading its investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system from a preliminary evaluation to an engineering analysis after identifying additional crashes at first responder sites. In October 2022, the two lawmakers reported that the DOJ investigation into Tesla’s misleading advertising of driving automation systems. In February 2023, Senators Markey and Blumenthal issued a joint statement on Tesla’s recall of its vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving Beta software due to crash risk.