Tesla has not commented on the issue, but NHTSA issued a statement that said in part:
“Safety is central to NHTSA’s mission and we are committed to improving safety for all road users. Distraction-affected crashes are a concern, particularly in vehicles equipped with an array of convenience technologies such as entertainment screens. We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer. The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with design defects posing unreasonable risks to safety.”
NHTSA pointed out that “The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with design defects posing unreasonable risks to safety,” and that it issued recommendations in 2013 that in-vehicle devices with secondary features should be designed to prevent the driver from using them while driving.
Several automakers, including Tesla, have front seat infotainment systems that allow videos to be played while the vehicles are in park and Jeep this year launched a new screen for the front seat passenger in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagonner that plays streaming video on the move, but is filtered, so it can’t be viewed from the driver’s seat.