It looks like troubles are not ending anytime soon for tech-billionaire Elon Musk. In a shocking incident a whistle-blower has leaked 100 GB of Tesla's confidential data, handing it over to German media outlet Handlesblatt.
The publication named this leak "My autopilot almost killed me: Tesla files cast doubt on Elon Musk's promises." He revealed details of thousands of serious complaints raised by consumers against the safety of Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) features.
According to the leaked data, Tesla customers reported 2,400 self-acceleration and 1,500 braking issues, including 139 reports of "unintentional emergency braking" and 383 reports of "phantom stops" caused by false collision warnings.
They were filed from 2015 to March 22 in the United States, Europe, and Asia.The description in the complaints included issues such as "suddenly brake or accelerate abruptly." Many drivers revealed that they regained control safely, while others "ended up in a ditch, hit walls, or crashed into oncoming vehicles."
How Tesla Handles Customer Complaints
The report also unearths how Tesla handles such customer complaints. It suggests that the automobile giant likes to keep its vehicle data under wraps. For each incident there are bullet points for the "technical review". The employees who enter this review into the system regularly make it clear that the report is "for internal use only". Each entry also contains the note in bold print that information, if at all, may only be passed on "VERBALLY to the customer"
Responding to the leaks Tesla did not clarify anything about the claims made in the data. It states: "We continue to investigate the circumstances alleged in your email. To date, we have reason to believe that a disgruntled ex-employee (...) right before he left Tesla, misused his access as a service technician to exfiltrate information in violation of his signed non-disclosure agreement, Tesla's data management policies and practices, and EU and German law."
The company has also stated it will initiate legal proceedings against the whistle-blower. It reads "As you know, the use of illegally obtained data for media reporting is not allowed absent exceptional circumstances. The possession of such data itself without proper justification breaches, among other things, data protection law. And mishandling this information subjects recipient, such as Handelsblatt, to liability for violation of trade secrets, data protection law, and handling stolen data, among other things. Any such sensitive data in your possession also requires you to protect it carefully against further misappropriation. To this end, please send us a copy of this information, immediately delete all other copies, and confirm with us that you've done so."