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Oct 2, 2019

Tesla’s summon-your-car feature spurs U.S. to ask about safety

The Tesla Inc. Model 3

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The top U.S. road-safety regulator is gathering information about a Tesla Inc. feature that allows customers to remotely call for their car to pick them up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of reports related to Summon, a feature the electric-car maker made available last week, and is in ongoing contact with the company, according to an emailed statement. The agency said it “will not hesitate to act” if it finds evidence of a safety-related defect.

Tesla drivers have posted videos on social media trying out Summon, which enables owners to use their smartphone to remotely direct their car to pilot itself out of parking spaces and drive to them. Some footage that’s been shared shows collisions with other vehicles or near misses.

Representatives for Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on NHTSA’s statement. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted Sept. 30 that Summon was “probably our most viral feature ever.”