In brief: Tesla is to push out an update that will disable its vehicles’ Passenger Play feature, preventing video games from being played on the center console while an EV is in motion. The reveal comes amid a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into the feature.
Earlier this week, the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) launched a preliminary evaluation of around 580,000 Tesla Model 3, S, X, and Y vehicles covering the 2017 and 2022 model years. It focuses on the Passenger Play feature, looking specifically at how it could potentially distract drivers. The ODI said gameplay previously worked on the center console only when a Tesla was in park.
One day after the investigation began, Tesla told the NHTSA that it would change the feature following discussions with agency officials, reports The Guardian. However, a representative said the investigation would continue despite the update.
“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely,” the NHTSA said in its statement.
At this year’s Computex event, Tesla revealed the Tesla Model S and Model X Ryzen APU with its Navi 23-based graphics that allows games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 to be played on the infotainment system. Tesla said it offers the same “10 teraflops” performance as the PlayStation 5. The chip recently started appearing in the Tesla Model Y, initially in China, but they’re making their way to other locations.
Tesla has been the subject of several NHTSA investigations in recent years over claims its cars were suddenly accelerating (they weren’t), failing touchscreens, petitions, fatal autopilot crashes, and more.