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UPDATE 1-U.S. auto safety agency notes Tesla accidents with Smart Summon feature

feature@ (Adds details of software upgrade, example of user report)

WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Wednesday it is gathering information about reports of minor crashes involving Tesla Inc's Smart Summon feature that allows people to retrieve a parked vehicle remotely by using an app.

Several users have posted videos on social media of Tesla vehicles that appear to have been in near accidents, while one posted a video of a Tesla striking a garage wall and another of a Tesla being struck by a vehicle backing up.

Tesla added the feature through a software update last week for some customers. When the car is within their line of sight, they use a phone app to summon the vehicle in a parking lot.(https://bit.ly/2lxm0qN)

Asked about reports of crashes involving the feature, NHTSA said it "is aware of reports related to Teslas Summon feature. We are in ongoing contact with the company and we continue to gather information. Safety is NHTSAs top priority and the agency will not hesitate to act if it finds evidence of a safety-related defect."

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In one recent Twitter video, a Tesla exits a parking space and starts to cross a driveway when an SUV nearly collides with the driverless car. A voice is heard gasping and exclaiming, "Oh my God!"

The poster, Dallas-based solutions architect Roddie Hasan, commented that his "first test of Smart Summon didn't go so well." (https://bit.ly/2nEXk0O)

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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