Two self-driving Waymo robotaxis hit a truck being towed in Phoenix two months ago, perhaps confused because the angle of a truck being towed but facing rearward, and the Google-owned company recalled the software running the vehicles.

Self-driving car company Waymo has surely felt like they were winning the robotaxi wars these last few months, after GM subsidiary Cruise had one of their cars drag a pedestrian 20 feet and was forced to sideline their fleet indefinitely. But now Waymo has had a bumpy ride this week too, after one of their autonomous vehicles hit a cyclist in Potrero Hill last week, and of course, a Waymo car was torched by a crowd celebrating Lunar New Year in Chinatown over the weekend.

Yet another incident is coming to light, this one from Phoenix Arizona, where the robotaxis also operate. It’s just coming to light now that on December 11, two Waymo cars crashed into the same truck being towed “minutes apart,” according to CNN. And because of that, Engadget reports that Waymo has issued a recall of its software.

Waymo explains in a company blog post that “On December 11, 2023 in Phoenix, a Waymo vehicle made contact with a backwards-facing pickup truck being improperly towed ahead of the Waymo vehicle such that the pickup truck was persistently angled across a center turn lane and a traffic lane. Following contact, the tow truck and towed pickup truck did not pull over or stop traveling, and a few minutes later another Waymo vehicle made contact with the same pickup truck while it was being towed in the same manner.”

That wording makes the incident sound like it was the tow truck driver’s fault. But even if the “improper” towing was so bad, funny how no human-driven cars ran into the truck.

Both robotaxis were without passengers, and there were apparently no injuries. Waymo says it recalled the operating software, and had new software installed to its fleet starting December 20.

“Our ride-hailing service is not and has not been interrupted by this update,” Waymo insisted in their blog post.

Waymo’s blog post concludes with the obligatory self-driving car company declaration of “we are committed to improving road safety.” Yet still… they are only acknowledging this safety flaw two months later? That begs the question of whether the primary commitment is safety, or public relations and protecting future return on investment.

Either way, we have probably not heard the last of Waymo cars being confused by tow trucks, and the vehicles those tow trucks are towing.

Related: Self-Driving Waymo Collides With Bicyclist In Potrero Hill [SFNews]

Image via Waymo