Since launching its first vehicle, Elon Musk’s Tesla has found itself in perpetual damage control over his company’s continuing barrage of vehicle defects described by critics as everything from minor to life-ending. Recently, more legal action joined the onslaught of other lawsuits against the controversial car company.
Rushed into the market?
The recently filed class action lawsuit against the manufacturer revealed “phantom braking,” where Tesla cars would suffer unexpected and arbitrary stops. The issue is also the subject of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation.
Jose Alvarez Toledo, a consumer so confident in the “marketed dependability and safety” of the cars, “ purchased a 2021 Tesla Model 3 on August 26th. He filed the initial lawsuit as a lead plaintiff. Toledo claims that the manufacturer’s drive to innovate for the consumer market led to accelerating the testing of the advanced driver systems (ADAS) and rushing it to market.
A failure to warn?
Consumers who are part of the lawsuit also question the vehicle’s readiness and safety, claiming that Tesla did not inform them about the defect in the Autopilot and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) features. According to the plaintiffs, the technology engaged the brakes, suddenly reducing vehicle speed by approximately 50 percent.
Complaints currently number more than 750 others since 2019, with consumers citing similar defects resulting in slow-downs and outright stops. The problem is also supported by the company’s pre-production testing, buyer complaints, dealership preparation orders, warranty data, and NHTSA investigations.
Even the small print in the manual document false AEB activations are noted in the owner manuals.