Tesla Inc. stock rose on Thursday despite news of a second over-the-air recall this week for some of its vehicles and a news report about a surge in complaints in connection with instances of sudden braking.
Tesla TSLA, +1.32% stock is up more than 8% so far this week, outperforming the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.58%, which is up around 2.3%. Software updates, not trips to a Tesla store for service, are expected to resolve the recalls, which are unlikely to be costly for Tesla.
The latest recall involves a seat-belt chime malfunction affecting potentially 817,143 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, including Model S and Model X cars built in 2021 and this year, Model Y compact SUVs built from 2020 on, and Model 3 mass-market sedans built from 2017 on.
“The audible chime may not activate when the vehicle starts and the driver has not buckled their seat belt,” NHTSA said. Tesla will issue an over-the-air software update to correct the alleged defect. Owners will be notified by letter on April 1.
NHTSA on Tuesday said Tesla was recalling 53,822 vehicles built between 2016 and this year as a “rolling stop” feature can be activated as part of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta software.
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The feature allowed vehicles to go through an all-way stop without first coming to a full stop if it did not detect moving cars, pedestrians or bike riders near the intersection, among other conditions, NHTSA said.
Emmanuel Rosner with Deutsche Bank said in a note Thursday Tesla has released a new version of its FSD beta software to remove the “problematic feature.”
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“The latest update came much quicker than previous iterations in order to address the recall, with version 10.9 having been deployed just two weeks ago,” Rosner said.
Since the issue was covered through an over-the-air update and not a “‘physical recall’ … we would not expect any meaningful cost associated with it,” he said.
Separately, The Washington Post reported on a surge in complaints to NHTSA about Teslas suddenly braking on their own in response to imaginary road hazards.
The escalation of complaints coincides with Tesla’s decision last year to move from a radar to a camera-based driver-assistance system it calls “Tesla Vision,” the newspaper reported.
The switch was controversial and temporarily caused the Model 3 to lose its spot on a list of top cars for Consumer Reports.
Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment about the latest recall and the report about the “phantom braking.”
Tesla shares have gained nearly 9% in the past 12 months, compared with an advance of more than 18% in the same period for the S&P.