Tesla Put Under Investigation For ‘Phantom Braking’ In Blow To Musk

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One would imagine that the richest man in the world might have life easy. Elon Musk has been doing the fun stuff such as creating rockets that fly people into space and building the driverless electric car. But now, Musk has managed to also build himself a slew of trouble.

Take the problem with 416,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y cars. They hit the brakes unexpectedly at high speeds. Not good. But there were no crashes nor injuries reported.

A Reuters exclusive showed how worried Musk was, saying he had a “super bad feeling” over the U.S. economy:

‘Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a “super bad feeling” about the economy and wants to cut about 10% of jobs at the electric carmaker, he said in an email to executives seen by @Reuters reut.rs/3mbOhPC @HyunjooJin’

U.S. regulators have 758 complaints about Tesla Inc. They reveal that is double the number Elon Musk reported, 354 in February. So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the matter. On May 4, NHTSA sent the letter to Tesla Field Quality Director Eddie Gates. The traffic safety office requested the mega-billionaire to respond to the charges by Friday, June 3. Thus far, no word from Musk.

Acting Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Center for Auto Safety, Michael Brooks said:

‘That is a huge number of complaints in a short time, and indicates that NHTSA’s probe should be stepping up. We have hundreds of owners per month reporting false activation of their emergency braking systems, and untold numbers of others not reporting the issue to NHTSA.’

But this was not the only problem nagging Musk. It came “two weeks after NHTSA announced it was reviewing complaints about Tesla’s forward-collision avoidance system.” Another investigation looked into:

‘[A] possible defect of its partially automated driver-assistance feature in August 2021, when it began looking into how the system handles crash scenes following a dozen collisions with first responders and other vehicles.’

Last December the NHTSA decided to evaluate the safety of “car occupants to play video games on front-center touch screens.” As a result, Musk told the agency it would come up with software updates. These would lock the video game screen if the car was moving.

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Tesla called driver-assist driving “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving.” They mean that the driver must still be hands on the entire time.

Both Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board, which consists of previous members of the NHTSA, have hammered Musk about whether or not Tesla has locks “against inattentiveness and misuse.” according to The Bloomberg News.

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President Biden may have it right, going after Musk who demanded a 10 percent employee cut at Tesla.

Feature image is a screenshot via YouTube.


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