Consumer Alert: Recalls on Teslas, holiday lights

If you own a Tesla, it’s likely being recalled.

That’s because the manufacturer is recalling more than two million vehicles: nearly all the Teslas on the road in the United States.

The problem is the very first feature that Tesla is best known for: its Autopilot features.

For two years, the National Highway Traffic Administration has investigated almost 1,000 crashes in which Autopilot was believed to be in use.

The feature is supposed to maintain a set speed or following distance and detect lane markings, as well as the presence of other vehicles.

The recall will update software and fix a defective system that’s supposed to assure that drivers are paying attention.

It will also not allow the driver to engage autopilot when conditions dictate it wouldn’t be effective.

The recall covers models Y, S, 3, and X produced between Oct. 5, 2012 and Dec. 7, 2023.

Tesla started delivering automatic software updates Wednesday.

Another recall involves the lights that could be on your Christmas tree right now.

DM Merchandising is recalling almost 35,000 sets of Bunkhouse and Lotsa Lites connectable mini string lights.

They can overheat and catch fire. They were sold as everyday, Christmas, and Halloween lights.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says you should stop using them immediately and contact the manufacturer for a refund.

The Federal Trade Comission just annoucned new rules that are supposed to protect you from auto dealers who tack on hiddeen fees or use bait-and-switch tactics. It requires dealers to provide the actual price you have to pay for the vehicles, the full monthly payment up front, and tell you that additions like extended warranties are not mandatory.

The FTC calls the new regulation the “Combating Auto Retail Scams Rule.”

Last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accused Toyota’s credit division of lying to consumers and tacking on junk fees.

It was ordered to pay $60 million.