Tesla’s Passenger Play feature has prompted the NHTSA to open a “Preliminary Evaluation” into the capabilities of the option, which will require the automaker to submit certain information to the agency by March 4.
In late December, the NHTSA launched a formal investigation into over 580,000 Tesla models sold since 2017 and their ability to allow gaming while the car was in motion. The NHTSA is now specifically asking Tesla for information so it can perform a Preliminary Evaluation on the feature. The option was “available throughout 2021 in model year (MY) 2017 through 2022 Model 3 and 2018 through 2022 Model S, X, and Y vehicles manufactured by Tesla, Inc.,” the letter written to the automaker said.
Tesla then confirmed that it would halt in-car gaming while the vehicle was in motion. The Tesla Arcade would only be available while the car was parked.
“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 NHTSA told Teslarati in a statement.
“In order for my staff to evaluate the alleged defect, certain information is required. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 30166, please provide numbered responses to the following information requests. Insofar as Tesla has previously provided a document to ODI, Tesla may produce it again or identify the document, the document submission to ODI in which it was included, and the precise location in that submission where the document is located. When documents are produced, the documents shall be produced in an identified, organized manner that corresponds with the organization of this information request letter (including all individual requests and subparts). When documents are produced and the documents would not, standing alone, be self-explanatory, the production of documents shall be supplemented and accompanied by explanation,” the NHTSA communicated to Tesla.
Tesla much issue a response by March 4, 2022, the NHTSA said in its letter. The communication was penned by Gregory Magno, Chief of Vehicle Defects Division D. “If Tesla finds that it is unable to provide all of the information requested within the time allotted, Tesla must request an extension from me at (202) 366-5226 no later than five business days before the response due date. If Tesla is unable to provide all of the information requested by the original deadline, it must submit a partial response by the original deadline with whatever information Tesla then has available, even if an extension has been granted.”
The full letter to Tesla from the NHTSA is available below.
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