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The German publication Handelsblatt is in possession of greater than 23,000 inner information and paperwork from Tesla after an worker leaked the info. The information embrace private info on greater than 100,000 present and former workers, in addition to hundreds of studies of issues with Tesla’s superior driving help methods, Autopilot, and “Full Self-Driving.”
The earliest complaints within the information trove date again to 2015, and the latest to March 2022. Many of the complaints come up from the US, though European and Asian buyer issues are additionally mirrored within the information.
Greater than 2,400 complaints allege sudden unintended acceleration issues. Though Autopilot and FSD have been the main focus of headlines for the previous few years, through the mid-2010s there have been loads of studies of Teslas taking off on their very own accord—a minimum of 232 instances have been reported within the US, though (as typically seems in instances like these) the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration discovered no proof for a {hardware} or software program downside, as a substitute blaming driver error.
Greater than 1,500 complaints allege issues braking, together with 139 instances of phantom braking and 383 instances of phantom stops. In February 2022, we realized that NHTSA had opened a security investigation into Tesla’s phantom braking downside after it acquired lots of of complaints after an article in The Washington Put up drew consideration to the difficulty. However the issue has endured, inflicting an eight-car collision over Thanksgiving after Tesla opened up its FSD Beta program to all homeowners.
Handelsblatt says there have been greater than 1,000 crashes linked to brake issues and greater than 3,000 entries the place clients reported security issues with the driving force assists.
The German publication even went to the difficulty of contacting Tesla homeowners to verify the info was right.
A physician from California, for instance, who needs to stay nameless, advised the Handelsblatt about an incident from autumn 2021. She was about to show in a parking zone when her Tesla immediately accelerated like a racing automotive. “I attempted to steer however crashed right into a cement bollard,” the shopper remembers.
 “He fell over, however the automotive did not cease. I drove into the closest bollard. The airbag went off and I used to be shocked.”
Between January and October 2021, the Swiss Thomas Karl complained to Tesla a couple of dozen incorrect braking makes an attempt along with his car. Karl was an everyday buyer, had been for ten years. However his new Mannequin S made him nervous, as e mail correspondence with Tesla makes clear.
“Hey gents, consider me that I am beginning to lose my nerve?” Karl wrote on July 26, 2021 about one other incident. His Tesla had an accident on the Swiss A3 between Flums and Sargans “after being overhauled car made an emergency cease that scared and frightened”.
Based on Manfred Schon, he skilled one thing comparable on the M14 freeway. The previous
 Bosch worker was on his solution to a gathering within the US state of Michigan on June 1, 2019 when his Tesla “immediately slammed on the brakes, as onerous as you may think about,” Schon advised the Handelsblatt. “I used to be pushed into the seat belt and the automotive nearly got here to a cease. Then one other automotive hit me from behind.”
The Tesla information include comparable instances in Germany. One buyer complained that his Tesla had “pushed right into a median barrier on the freeway”. The explanation was the autopilot’s emergency braking. One other reported to customer support about his Mannequin S: “Drives into oncoming site visitors.”
Past the shopper complaints, the info leak additionally reveals how Tesla responded to those issues—by committing to as little as doable in writing.

For every incident there are key factors for the “technical evaluation”. The staff who enter this evaluation into the system commonly make it clear that the report is meant for “inner use solely”. Every entry additionally accommodates the notice in daring kind that info, if in any respect, could solely be handed on “VERBALLY to the shopper”.
“Don’t copy the report beneath into an e mail, textual content message or depart it in a voicemail to the shopper,” it continues. Automobile information must also not be launched with out permission. If, regardless of the recommendation, “a authorized involvement can’t be prevented”, this have to be recorded.
Clients that Handelsblatt spoke to have the impression that Tesla workers keep away from written communication. “They by no means despatched emails, the whole lot was all the time oral,” says the physician from California, whose Tesla stated it accelerated by itself within the fall of 2021 and crashed into two concrete pillars.
As anybody who covers Tesla would have the ability to let you know, Handelsblatt bought no reply from the corporate when it queried it on the issues listed above. Nevertheless, the automaker did demand its information again, in keeping with an accompanying notice from Handelsblatt’s editor.

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