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Tesla faces investigation over feature allowing drivers to play video games while car is moving

Tesla is facing an investigation over a feature that reportedly allows drivers to play video games while their vehicle is in motion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the "Passenger Play" feature in Tesla vehicles, saying the functionality "may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash," The New York Times reports

The investigation comes after the Times recently reported on Tesla drivers being able to play video games on a dashboard touch screen while cars are moving following a software update, with Governors Highway Safety Association executive director Jonathan Adkins telling the Times, "It's a big concern if it plays in view of the driver, for sure." The investigation covers about 580,000 vehicles, according to Gizmodo

Tesla didn't comment on the report. But a spokesperson for the NHTSA told The Associated Press it "has received one owner complaint describing the gameplay functionality and has confirmed that this capability has been available since December 2020 in Tesla 'Passenger Play'-equipped vehicles," noting that prior to this, it was only possible to enable the feature when cars were in park. The spokesperson also said the probe was opened to "evaluate the driver distraction potential" of the feature.

An Oregon man, Vince Patton, reportedly filed a complaint after learning about the feature. He told the AP he was "dumbfounded" over it, adding, "Somebody's going to get killed. It's absolutely insane."