Ralph Nader calls for NHTSA to order removal of Tesla Full Self-Driving

Consumer advocate and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader is calling on federal regulators to remove the Tesla “Full Self-Driving” driver-assist system from all vehicles.

In a statement Wednesday Nader, whose 1962 book “Unsafe at Any Speed” laid the groundwork for automotive safety regulations in the United States, called Tesla’s deployment of the system “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades,” and said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should force the system’s withdrawal.

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

“NHTSA must use its safety recall authority to order that the FSD technology be removed in every Tesla,” Nader said. “Tesla should never have put this technology in its vehicles. Now over 100,000 Tesla owners are currently using technology that research shows malfunctions every eight minutes.”

Despite the name, Tesla Full Self-Driving does not make vehicles into self-driving cars. It still requires an attentive human driver, although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised since 2016 that full autonomy was just a software update away. Musk has also repeatedly said the technology is still in “beta” form, effectively using customers as testers.

The disparity between Tesla’s branding of Full Self-Driving, which is a $12,000 option on new Teslas, and Autopilot, a basic version of which is standard in Tesla’s lineup, is drawing more attention from regulators.

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

The NHTSA confirmed in June that Tesla Autopilot was a step closer to a safety recall, as it escalated a federal probe. The head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last year called Tesla’s Full Self-Driving branding “misleading and irresponsible

.” The NTSB investigates crashes—including those involving unregulated driver-assist tech like Autopilot and Full Self-Driving—but can only make recommendations for new safety rules to other agencies.