Earlier this month, users of Tesla Inc (TSLA) reported that the huge screen mounted on the dashboard allows the drivers to play games even when the car is in motion. On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association announced that it has lodged a formal investigation against Elon Musk’s company.
According to reports, the gaming while driving feature called ” passenger play” was patched in as an update in December 2020. After another update in July 2021, the games that are available on the car are Solitaire, The Battle of Polytopia, and Sky Force Reloaded. Before that, the games were only accessible when the car was parked and not in motion.
The NHTSA probe will concern almost 580,000 Tesla vehicles ranging from 2017 to the present. The document said that even if the game is being played by the passengers, the distraction it will cause may lead to accidents.
The game does come with statutory warnings about being illegal but it has no way of stopping the drivers from playing. According to other reports, the violation does not just stop at games, drivers can also browse on the internet while driving.
A law that was passed back in 2014, called the “video screen restriction” strictly prohibits any form of television viewer or a display not rudimentary for driving beyond the passenger seats. The law is followed by 34 states by which the feature will be illegal in many states.
The road safety agency has already filed a complaint against the company for its “Full Self-Drive” feature that has caused 17 injuries and at least one fatality in 11 crashes due to software issues. More recently, the company has also faced other problems with its FSD system as the latest update was activating the emergency braking system automatically.
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