This Is How Tesla's Autosteer Recall Software Fix Works on Customers' Vehicles

Ignore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of Autosteer 7 photos
Photo: @RealTeslaNorth via X
Ignore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of AutosteerIgnore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of AutosteerIgnore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of AutosteerIgnore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of AutosteerIgnore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of AutosteerIgnore DMS warnings and you'll be locked out of Autosteer
Tesla's Autosteer recall caused a lot of noise in the media and beyond, especially as some misunderstood it as a steering problem affecting 2 million vehicles. In fact, this is a software change aimed at preventing people from abusing the Autopilot system and enforcing responsibility behind the wheel. Here's how the Autosteer software recall works.
Tesla made headlines again this week after it issued a voluntary recall for its entire fleet in the US. Unlike what many articles in the media implied, those vehicles have no problem with the steering system. The Autopilot system is also fine, as the recall doesn't restrict its use or features. What Tesla agreed to was to make it harder for undisciplined drivers to misuse the Autopilot system, specifically its Autosteer functionality.

To do this, Tesla enhanced the cabin camera (part of the driver's monitoring system, or DMS) with distracted driving and drowsiness detection, something that had already been in the books for some time. Thus, the Autopilot computer can detect when the driver is not watching the road and instead keeps their eyes on the phone, for instance. When this happens, the car sounds off an alarm and displays a message on the center screen. With the Autosteer recall fix, this message is more prominently displayed and uses a larger font to make it easier for the driver to notice it.

Not that they can ignore it. The update made sure this doesn't happen, but it does this in stages. At first, you'll get notified to "apply slight turning force to the steering wheel." If you don't do that, the hands on the screen turn red while a blue warning flashes. If you still refuse to play your role as the driver in command, the Autosteer disengages for the rest of the drive. This is signaled by a big red message warning you that Autosteer is unavailable for the rest of this drive. "Hold the steering wheel to drive manually," continues the message

Enabling Autopilot after you rattled the car's computer will not be possible for the rest of the drive. It's still unclear if this means a reasonable amount of time or whether you can get it back by parking and locking the car and then immediately start driving. What is certain is that after five such disengagements, you'll be locked out of Autosteer for a week. This means no FSD Beta for you and no Autopilot either.

There are countless complaints on social media from people who have already recorded five strikes. Many say the blue flashing is not that obvious. It's easy to miss it and have Autopilot disengaging for the rest of the drive. The driver monitoring system is now quite sensitive, too. It's enough to check your email briefly and be warned to "hold the steering wheel."

These changes are currently delivered to the Tesla fleet with the Holiday Update, although not everyone will get them. Only vehicles with a cabin camera are affected for now, with those without a cabin camera set to receive a similar update later. Even those who were supposed to get the Autosteer fix are still waiting, as Tesla pulled the Holiday Update after it discovered it caused issues for some owners.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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