Tesla is being investigated again, this time for 'phantom braking' issues

(Image credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesla is facing yet another safety investigation.

The latest probe is over braking issues, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports of "unexpected brake activation" with 2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, The Verge and Axios report.

An NHTSA report said the Office of Defects Investigation received 354 complaints about the "phantom braking." The complaints "allege that while utilizing the [advanced driver assistance system] features including adaptive cruise control, the vehicle unexpectedly applies its brakes while driving at highway speeds," the report said. "Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, at random, and often repeatedly in a single drive cycle."

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This was the third safety probe to be opened into Tesla just within the past six months, Axios noted. The NHTSA previously said it would investigate reports that a feature in Tesla vehicles allows drivers to play video games while the car is moving, which "may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash." The agency also opened an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot function after multiple crashes. "Since January 2018, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified eleven crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes," the NHTSA said.

The agency will now be looking into over 400,000 vehicles over the "phantom braking" issues. Tesla hasn't commented on the investigation. It came after the company earlier this month disabled a "rolling stop" feature that the NHTSA said "may allow the vehicle to travel through an all-way stop intersection without first coming to a stop," which "can increase the risk of a crash."

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