Tesla recalls cars to fix pedestrian warning sounds being interrupted


Tesla announced a recall of approximately 579,000 vehicles with the new feature “Boombox” third-party music software (via Bloomberg† The company plans to fix the problem by removing the Boombox feature via an over-the-air software update, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.

The recall affects all 2020-2022 Tesla Model S, X and Y vehicles, as well as some 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3s equipped with the Pedestrian Warning System, an external speaker that emits artificial sounds designed to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the passing vehicle. The “Boombox” function in these cars can obscure this safety feature.

Federal law requires all new electric vehicles and hybrids to create artificial external noise that allows pedestrians to hear them approaching. In 2019, the NHTSA ruled that manufacturers can create custom sounds and essentially be creative about how their electric vehicles sound when driving at low speeds.

Tesla, which has released festive cowbell and party light show features, went the extra mile by adding goat bleating and DJ horns to notify pedestrians and cyclists of its presence.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has come under scrutiny for its more quirky features. A recall was issued last week when it was discovered that the seat belt warning bell may not sound in certain situations. NHTSA is also investigating a complaint that Tesla Arcade games could be played on the screen while the vehicle is in motion.

Last month, Tesla also had to update its “Full Self-Driving” beta software to remove a feature that would roll forward at stop signs. And yesterday, Tesla also had to recall 27,000 vehicles due to a faulty windshield defroster.

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