A Whistleblower Just Dropped 100 Gigabytes Of Tesla Secrets To A German News Site

German news outlet Handelsblatt has uncovered a concerning pattern within Tesla, revealing that the company has been dismissing customer complaints regarding dangerous glitches in its Autopilot system while prioritizing its own interests.

The publication obtained over 23,000 internal Tesla files from an anonymous source, and their authenticity was verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology. Despite Tesla’s attempts to prevent the publication of this data, Handelsblatt deemed it legally permissible under European Union law to report on this significant breach.

The extensive collection of Tesla files obtained contains a staggering number of complaints related to self-acceleration and braking function issues. There were over 2,400 reports of self-acceleration complaints and more than 1,500 cases of braking problems, which included 139 instances of unintentional emergency braking and 383 incidents of phantom stops caused by false collision warnings.

Additionally, the files revealed over 1,000 crashes and more than 3,000 entries detailing safety concerns expressed by customers regarding Tesla’s driver assistance systems. These incidents occurred between 2015 and March 2022, covering a period when Tesla delivered approximately 2.6 million vehicles equipped with Autopilot software.

While most of the reported incidents originated in the United States, there were also complaints from Europe and Asia, including a substantial number from German Tesla drivers.

Handelsblatt took the initiative to contact numerous customers from various countries, and their accounts validated the information contained in the Tesla files. In addition, these customers shared their experiences with the Autopilot system, disclosing their communication with Tesla and providing Handelsblatt reporters with videos of accidents.

It became apparent from these interactions that Tesla demonstrated a lack of genuine interest in addressing customers’ concerns, instead focusing on shielding the company from liability. Astonishingly, this behavior was explicitly outlined as a company policy at Tesla. In addition, the Tesla files revealed precise guidelines for employee communication with customers, emphasizing the primary objective of minimizing any potential vulnerability.

Each incident was accompanied by bullet points for a “technical review.” The employees responsible for documenting these reviews stressed that the information was strictly for internal use. Additionally, each entry featured a bold note indicating that, if at all, the information should only be conveyed verbally to the customer. Tesla employees actively discouraged written communication, advising against copying and pasting the reports into emails, text messages, or voicemails.

Moreover, vehicle data was not to be disclosed without permission, and any instances involving lawyers had to be duly recorded.

Customers who spoke with Handelsblatt revealed that Tesla employees actively avoided written correspondence, relying solely on verbal communication. For example, one California-based doctor recounted an incident where their Tesla allegedly accelerated on its own and collided with two concrete pillars in the autumn of 2021. According to the doctor, all communication from Tesla was exclusively verbal, with no emails sent.

Throughout the investigation, Handelsblatt consistently encountered a familiar refrain: Tesla’s refusal to address customer complaints and respond to inquiries regarding the allegations. Several individuals even resorted to selling their Teslas or attempting to return them to the company, citing ethical concerns about allowing others to drive these potentially dangerous vehicles.

Elon Musk and Tesla faced a tumultuous 2022, and it seems that this year will be no different. In addition to the recent revelation that a 2016 video of a self-driving Tesla was likely a staged hoax with Musk’s involvement, the company now faces multiple lawsuits from shareholders and families of crash victims, all of which are set to be heard in court. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Justice are also closing in on Tesla, intensifying the scrutiny surrounding the company.

As the evidence continues to mount, it becomes increasingly critical for Tesla to address the concerns raised by its customers and take appropriate actions to ensure the safety and reliability of its Autopilot system.

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