US auto safety regulators have launched another investigation of Tesla, this time tied to complaints that its cars can stop on roads for no apparent reason.
The government says it has had 354 complaints from owners during the past nine months about "phantom braking'' in Tesla Models 3 and Y. The probe covers an estimated 416,000 vehicles from the 2021 and 2022 model years. No crashes or injuries were reported.
The vehicles are equipped with partially automated driver-assist features such as adaptive cruise control and "Autopilot," which allows them to automatically brake and steer within their lanes.
Documents posted Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the vehicles can unexpectedly brake at highway speeds. "Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, and often repeatedly during a single drive cycle," the agency says.
Many owners in the complaints say they are afraid of a rear-end crash on a freeway.
The probe is another in a string of enforcement efforts by the agency that include Autopilot and "Full Self-Driving" software. Despite their names, neither feature can drive the vehicles without people supervising.
(With inputs from PTI)