WASHINGTON -- U.S. auto safety regulators have opened an investigation to assess potential safety issues in certain Tesla vehicles after reports alleging "phantom braking."
NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation said it has received more than 354 complaints in the past nine months for the unexpected brake activation.
The safety probe covers an estimated 416,000 Tesla Model 3 and Y vehicles from the 2021-2022 model years that are equipped with its advanced driver-assistance system, Autopilot.
The complaints allege that while using Autopilot's features, such as adaptive cruise control, "the vehicle unexpectedly applies its brakes while driving at highway speeds," according to the agency's report.
"Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, at random and often repeatedly in a single drive cycle," the report reads.
A Washington Post report this month said NHTSA had received more than 100 reports of phantom braking in three months.
The latest investigation into Tesla vehicles comes as the EV maker faces greater regulatory scrutiny. It also follows a series of recalls by the automaker and two other safety probes by the agency.