Tesla’s (ticker: TSLA) move came one day after the agency announced it would open a formal investigation into the feature, which is visible on the front center touchscreen from the driver’s seat and is enabled even when the vehicle is being driven.
The probe would cover about 580,000 Tesla vehicles, including models S, X, Y, and 3, from 2017 to 2022, said the NHTSA.
“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely,” according to a statement from the agency.
The NHTSA says its investigation of Tesla will continue even with the software update.
Tesla shares rose 5.8% on Thursday, and slid about 0.2% in after-hours trading.
Tesla investors aren’t too concerned about the videogame probe because the company can easily turn off the function, as it already plans to do. As more smart features roll out, however, investors need to be prepared for more investigations and queries into autonomous driving.
The new investigation is a sign of regulators’ increasing scrutiny of the auto industry as cars get smarter with more software-enabled features. Even with advanced driver-assistance systems, like Tesla’s Autopilot, regulators worry that drivers might have a false sense of security and that in-car distractions will encourage them to take their eyes off the road.
Write to Evie Liu at firstname.lastname@example.org