By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tesla’s decision to remove radar sensors from two of its vehicles in the United States cost it top safety ratings from a highly influential insurance industry group: Consumer Reports magazine.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had said Wednesday that Tesla Model 3 and Model Ys made after April 27 will no longer have some advanced safety labels, after the manufacturer announced it was removing the radar sensors to transition to camera-based Autopilot.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also plans to remove the “Top Safety Pick +” designation from the Model 3 for vehicles manufactured after April 27, a spokesperson confirmed, adding that it plans to evaluate Tesla’s new system.
The NHTSA said it updated its website to show that Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced as of April 27 “do not have the NHTSA check mark for recommended safety technologies: Forward Collision Warning, Front Collision Warning. lane departure, impending crash braking and dynamic braking support. “
Consumer Reports cited the NHTSA’s decision to remove the Model 3 from the Top Pick list.
“It is extremely rare for an automaker to remove safety features from a vehicle during a production run, even temporarily, but this is not the first time that Tesla has done this,” said Jake Fisher, director of the Test Center for Consumer Reports cars.
Tesla had no comment Thursday.
The company had said that the transition to a camera-centric system may result in the limitation of some features such as lane-centering and parking assist, but that software updates “in the next few weeks” would restore functions. .
The NHTSA has opened 28 special investigations into Tesla accidents, with 24 pending episodes, including a fatal accident on May 5 in California.
(Reporting by David Shepardson. Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)