Tesla leak reveals thousands of safety complaints

Onur Demirkol
May 26, 2023
Companies, Misc

According to a recent report, Tesla's customer complaint files, which is around 100GB of data, have been leaked and shared with a German newspaper.

"Several informants" have passed on important information about Tesla's customer complaints. According to the files shared with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Tesla has received thousands of complaints from customers about its self-driving feature. The files that were shared with the German publication contain around 100GB of data.

There were 23,000 internal files in the collection, including complaints from March 2022 and as far back as 2015. The manufacturer reportedly received 2,400 reports about problems with self-acceleration and 1,500 cases related to concerns with brake function during that time. The latter includes 383 complaints regarding phantom stops brought on by false collision alerts, as well as 139 complaints concerning mistaken emergency brakes.

The files also reportedly contained 3,000 incidents when drivers raised safety concerns regarding Tesla's driver assistance technology, as well as 3,000 crash reports.

Even though the majority of the recorded incidents happened in the US, several owners in Europe and Asia have also had complaints. Numerous clients from the files were reportedly contacted by Handelsblatt to validate their claims, and some were even able to provide films for publishing, Jalopnik said.

The files apparently featured guidelines for employees on how to interact with consumers too. They are reportedly prohibited from pasting incident reports into emails or text messages or leaving them as voicemail messages. Customers can only receive the information verbally from them.

Tesla leak

Handelsblatt explained why they chose to publish

Sebastian Matthes, editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt, said in a letter outlining the publication's decision to publish data from the Tesla files. He claimed that a 12-person team spent six months sorting through and analyzing the files.

"The data paints the picture of an electric car pioneer who seems to have far greater technological problems than previously known. With its Autopilot, for example. The Tesla files contain thousands of reports about complications with the driver assistance systems. Complaints of Tesla vehicles suddenly braking at full speed. Or accelerate suddenly," he said.


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  1. John said on May 26, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    Tesla has got a pass for years as the golden child of the EV industry. Even owners for awhile excused defects as the price you pay for cutting edge technology. But as Tesla’s become more popular so does more owners complain of being dissatisfied with quality and service.

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