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: Tesla promises to change in-car videogame after federal investigation launched

Tesla Inc. will change a videogame available on its vehicles’ touchscreens to ensure that drivers cannot play it while the car is in motion, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday.

The NHTSA launched an investigation into “Passenger Play,” as Tesla TSLA, +5.76% calls the feature, earlier this week, after a Tesla owner informed the agency that he was able to play the game while he was driving. A spokesperson for the agency told MarketWatch on Thursday that Tesla had agreed to change the system to not allow the game to be played while the car is moving.

“Following the opening of a preliminary evaluation of Tesla’s ‘Passenger Play,’ Tesla informed the agency that it is changing the functionality of this feature,” a statement sent by email reads. “In a new software update, ‘Passenger Play’ will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motion.”

NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation will continue. Tesla, which has dismantled its public-relations department that previously spoke with journalists, did not respond to an email seeking confirmation and comment.

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The NHTSA disclosed Tuesday that the game has been playable while the car is moving since Dec. 2020, and that it was investigating the feature in Tesla’s four models — the 3, S, X and Y — built since 2017. It is one of multiple investigations into the company focused on how Tesla approaches autonomous driving and related driver distraction.

Tesla stock gained 5.8% Thursday, the second straight day of strong gains for the company after Chief Executive Elon Musk said in an interview published Tuesday evening that he was done selling stock in the company. More sales were disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday evening.

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