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NHTSA ends probe into Tesla’s driver-accessible gaming feature

NHTSA started the probe in December of 2021.

Sonic the hedgehog tesla
Image: Imgur

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it closed an investigation into a Tesla feature that allowed drivers to play video games in the car’s in-dash entertainment center while driving.

NHTSA started the probe in December of 2021 after a Tesla owner filed a complaint that video games could be seen and played on a center touch screen accessible to the driver while the vehicle was in motion.

According to NHTSA, Tesla disabled the feature known as “passenger play” with a software update the same month the investigation started. Tesla reported 97% of vehicles completed the update within a month of its release.

Despite the feature being disabled, the NHTSA investigation continued.

Tesla passenger play screen
Image: AP

At the time, NHTSA said the Vehicle Safety Act prohibits companies from selling vehicles that present substantial safety hazards, such as those resulting from distracted driving.

The NHTSA investigation into the driver distraction potential of passenger play covered more than 580,000 Tesla vehicles between the 2017 and 2022 models. As for its findings? The investigation concluded with no corrective action.

However, it’s important to note that this investigation being closed doesn’t mean there are no safety issues, and NHTSA can take further action if needed.

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Mason Pelt is a writer, primarily focused on the impact of marketing on culture. He's also the managing director of Push ROI Inc. and a board member for the non-profit Project HandUP.

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