Tesla investigated over distracting video game feature

Washington, D.C. – January 15, 2022 – The U.S. Government’s auto safety regulator is investigating Tesla’s “Passenger Play” feature which potentially allows drivers to play Tesla video games on the front console while on the road. The feature – which increases the risk of an accident – is present in the following models :

  • 2017 – 2022 Tesla Model 3
  • 2017 – 2022 Tesla Model S
  • 2017 – 2022 Tesla Model X
  • 2017 – 2022 Tesla Model Y

Recall summary  

The government regulator, NHTSA, opened an investigation in December of last year following a complaint alleging that interactive video games and live internet web search are available on the Tesla center console while the car is in motion

Before December 2020, video games in Tesla vehicles could only be played when the vehicle was parked. But an update has allowed games to now be played while the car is in motion, requiring the player to only press a button confirming that they are not driving. NHTSA’s investigation will evaluate the “distraction potential” of this feature.


NHTSA is concerned that the availability of gameplay “may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.” Read more about the dangers of distracted driving in this article about a 2020 Chrysler recall.

Other Tesla investigations

This summer, NHTSA opened a broad investigation into Tesla’s autopilot system after at least 11 cars crashed into parked emergency vehicles. 

The autopilot system has also come under fire for not ensuring that drivers continue to pay attention to the road while autopilot is engaged, as intended. Other types of driver-assist, like GM’s super cruise, use infrared cameras to monitor drivers’ eyes to make sure they are still watching the road. Tesla’s high-tech vehicles do not include this type of monitoring.

Is your vehicle part of a Tesla recall?

An estimated 580,000 Teslas could be subject to a future recall. Check your Tesla for open recalls using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandTesla investigated over distracting video game feature

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