Shocking Leaked Tesla Documents Hint at Cybertruck Problems | WIRED

Car hit piles, brake pedals to avoid imaginary collisions, and more than 2,400 complaints about cars accelerating beyond the owner’s control. The 100 gigabytes worth of internal Tesla documents leaked in the German newspaper Handelsblatt presents a sobering picture of the technical limitations of the EV company.

23,000 files obtained by Handelsblatt covers issues in Europe, the United States, and Asia between 2015 and March 2022, and they appear to show serious flaws in Tesla’s Autopilot technology. These revelations could expose the company to renewed pressure from regulators, who will likely review the reports looking for evidence that the company has misled authorities or customers. about vehicle safety.

The leaks could also reinforce a widespread concern among Tesla investors and analysts that the company has gone astray. Its vaunted self-driving tech seems far from safe on the road, and it doesn’t seem to be able to move viable new products from the drawing board to the showroom. Tesla hasn’t launched a new consumer vehicle since 2020, and it’s considered by many to be lagging behind other car manufacturers, who are stepping up the development of new electric vehicles to meet the growing demand. Hidden half of the bombardment of revelations is a trailer for a secret report about Tesla’s long-awaited “Cybertruck,” a fancy angular pickup announced in 2019. It’s unlikely to be good news.

“Tesla desperately needs a new believable story,” said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research in Duisburg, Germany.

The contents of the leaked documents are shocking, with accounts of near-death experiences at the hands of Tesla Autopilot. But analysts say it’s not surprising.

“For most of us who have been following Tesla for a decade now, this is not surprising and perhaps it is not,” said Matthias Schmidt, an independent automotive analyst in Berlin. surprises most Tesla customers.

Schmidt said that Tesla has long adopted a “move fast and break things” approach to product development, leading to concerns about whether its new versions are ready for launch. Had 393 deaths recorded involving Teslas, 33 of which involve Autopilot. Schmidt alleges that Musk “accepts the driver’s death as a consequence of transitional technology.” Musk did not respond to a request for comment for this story or address Schmidt’s allegation.

It’s often difficult to separate the Tesla brand from the CEO’s personality. Musk often ignores criticism of his products — often via Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion last October. But the size of the leak in Germany could make it harder for Musk to sell his version of the story, according to Dudenhöffer.

“He has thousands of pieces of information, on customer complaints, and at the same time he tells people it is the best product in the world,” Dudenhöffer said, comparing the controversy to the scandal. scandal at Volkswagen in the mid-2010s, when it discovered the automaker had have reduced environmental impact his vehicle.

Dudenhöffer blames Tesla’s growing troubles on Musk, who has split his time between running Tesla, the rocket company SpaceX, and Twitter, which has been in a perpetual state of crisis since when he took over last year. “He shouldn’t be CEO and leader of Tesla anymore,” Dudenhöffer said, “because he makes one mistake after another.”


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