Consumer Reports urges Tesla to disable auto steering

Tesla pressured to stop calling technology 'Autopilot'

U.S. magazine Consumer Reports on Thursday urged Tesla Motors to disable its automatic steering function in its Autopilot driving-assist system that's under investigation by U.S. officials.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a May 7 fatal crash in Florida of a Model S driver who was using Autopilot. Consumer Reports wants Tesla to disable the current system and require drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and to stop referring to the current system as Autopilot.

"Tesla is constantly introducing enhancements proven over millions of miles of internal testing to ensure that drivers supported by Autopilot remain safer than those operating without assistance," said a Tesla representative in a statement sent to CNBC. "We will continue to develop, validate, and release those enhancements as the technology grows."

The statement also said, "Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car. This is enforced with onboard monitoring and alerts."

CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.