The 5 biggest Tesla controversies after Elon Musk forced to recall millions of cars

The 5 biggest Tesla controversies after Elon Musk forced to recall millions of cars
2 million Tesla vehicles recalled
Fox - Ktvu / VideoElephant

Tesla is recalling nearly all the cars it has sold in the US to date to fix a major safety flaw.

No, that’s not de ja vu you’re feeling right now. It’s just the latest in a very long line of controversies at Elon Musk’s car company.

While the billionaire has turned his attention to ruining – sorry, “upgrading” – X/Twitter, not to mention firing stuff into space, it’s been far from plain sailing at the electric car giant.

So as staff scramble to fix the latest issue, here are a few of Tesla’s biggest blunders.

Autopilot crashes

One of Tesla’s biggest selling points is that its cars have an Autopilot – or self-driving – feature.

A number of people have been killed in incidents allegedly involving cars with the advanced driver-assistance system, raising questions about the software’s capabilities.

When it works, Autopilot keeps the car in the middle of its lane, and keeps its distance from the car ahead. Some versions can do things like change lane automatically.

How Tesla's Self-Driving Autopilot Actually Works |

Now a two-year investigation by US regulators has resulted in Tesla’s latest recall of virtually all its cars in the country.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s not the Autopilot itself which Tesla is fixing, but the system that’s supposed to make sure drivers pay attention even while they’re using it.

Tesla maintains cars running Autopilot have fewer accidents than normal vehicles. But with the NHTSA investigation ongoing, the proof will be in the pudding.

Vehicles catching fire

In 2021, a $130,000 Tesla Model S reportedly burst into flames in Philadelphia.

Luckily, the driver noticed smoke, then fire, and managed to pull over and get out of the car in the nick of time.

Tesla car 'spontaneously' catches

While electric cars tend to have a lower fire risk than regular ones, it’s harder to put them out when they do catch alight.

In 2021, it is claimed, another Tesla sitting in a junkyard in California ignited, requiring 4,500 gallons of water to put it out.

That’s a lot of water.

Elon Musk’s overpromising

In 2016, Musk said self-driving technology would arrive in less than two years.

He’s even promised that Tesla owners will be able to earn money by deploying their cars as autonomous robotaxis.

Needless to say, that still hasn’t happened. Though, judging from the reports about fires, it sounds like a scary proposition.

The Cybertruck unveiling

The Cybertruck was first announced in 2019 but has since been plagued with delays and production issues. Tesla only just started delivering them last month.

The futuristic design is part of Musk’s ambition to build a “tough” truck which would be 'fit for an apocalypse'.

The billionaire has claimed the vehicle’s stainless-steel body will be bulletproof – though after a disastrous unveiling of the vehicle a few years back, which saw the window smash as millions watched - many have said they’ll believe that when they see it.

Oops! Tesla Cybertruck's Unbreakable Windows Break During

Workplace safety concerns

You might think working for one of the most futuristic mass market engineering companies in the world would be great, right?

Bloomberg reported in 2019 that workers at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, spent twice as many days off work because of workplace injuries in 2018 than 2017.

And reports from Reveal in 2018 said Tesla misreported workplace injuries and avoided using safety markings for aesthetic reasons. The report also said Tesla failed to give injured employees proper medical care.

Tesla denied the reports.

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