BusinessProbe: Tesla Automated Driving Documents Sought By Justice Department
The U.S. Justice Department has requested documents from Tesla related to its Autopilot and "Full Self-Driving" features, according to a regulatory filing.
"To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred," Tesla said in the filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Austin, Texas, electric vehicle maker cautioned that if the government decides to pursue an enforcement action, it could possibly have a material adverse impact on its business.
Messages were left Tuesday seeking comment from the Justice Department and from Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations department.
Tesla Inc. is already facing multiple investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for problems with its two driver-assist systems, Autopilot and "Full Self-Driving."
Despite their names, Tesla still says on its website that the cars can't drive themselves. Teslas using "Full Self-Driving" can navigate roads in many cases, but experts say the system can make mistakes, which even CEO Elon Musk acknowledges. "We're not saying it's quite ready to have no one behind the wheel," CEO Musk said in October.
Michael Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said the Justice Department could be looking at safety issues with the systems, or it could be investigating Tesla claims that the cars can drive themselves when they can't.
"When you get the car, it really can't do everything that's been promised," Brooks said. "Tesla is putting a vehicle out on the road that is unable to perform to the capabilities claimed. Yet we have drivers relying on those promises and essentially not paying attention to the drive because they think it is more capable than it is."
The systems have been under investigation by NHTSA since June of 2016 when a driver using Autopilot was killed after his Tesla went under a tractor-trailer crossing its path in Florida. A separate probe into Teslas that were using Autopilot when they crashed into emergency vehicles started in August 2021. At least 14 Teslas that have crashed into emergency vehicles while using the Autopilot system.
Including the Florida crash, NHTSA has sent investigators to 35 Tesla crashes in which automated systems are suspected of being used. Nineteen people have died in those crashes, including two motorcyclists.
The agency also is investigating complaints that Teslas can brake suddenly for no reason.
RELATED: Bay Bridge Crash Video Shows Self-Driving Tesla Change Lanes, Brake
"Full Self-Driving" went on sale late in 2015, and Musk has used the name ever since. It currently costs $15,000 to activate the system.
In 2019 he promised a fleet of autonomous robotaxis by 2020, and he said in early 2022 that the cars would be autonomous that year.
Since 2021, Tesla has been beta-testing "Full Self-Driving" using owners who haven't been trained on the system but are actively monitored by the company. Tesla said this month that 400,000 owners are participating.
Auto safety advocates and government investigators have long criticized Tesla's monitoring system as inadequate. Three years ago the National Transportation Safety Board listed poor monitoring as a contributing factor in a 2018 fatal Tesla crash in California. The board recommended a better system, but said Tesla has not responded.
NHTSA has noted in documents that numerous Tesla crashes have occurred in which drivers had their hands on the wheel but still weren't paying attention. The agency has said that Autopilot is being used in areas where its capabilities are limited and that many drivers aren't taking action to avoid crashes despite warnings from the vehicle.
In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board determined in 2020 that Tesla's system to make sure drivers are paying attention is not adequate, and it should be limited to areas where it can safely operate.
Tesla shares were up just under 4% in Tuesday morning trading.
Read On "Patch"
Politics & Government New Nebraska Prison Report Recommends Not Just One New Prison, But Another 1,500 Beds In A Decade Proposals include increasing re-entry capacity at the Omaha Correctional Center and adding 100 extra beds at the youth prison in the city. (Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner)By Paul Hammel February 1, 2023LINCOLN — Before 2030, Nebraska will need another 1,500 prison beds, even after building a $350-million, 1,500-bed replacement for the aging State Penitentiary in Lincoln, a new report says. State Pen could be repurposedOutdated buildings at the State Pen should be demolished, the report states. In Phase II of the report, in six to 10 years from now, it says 1,500 new prison beds will be needed. Also included in this time frame would be decommissioning the State Penitentiary.1 month ago Patch
GOLF CLUB POLLSChandigarh Golf Club poll:Elections on January 29 to choose president, 11 executive membersIndus Foundation held a zoom meeting with 89 NRI-Members, who demand NRI-Voting Rights in Chandigarh Golf Club., as granted by Election Commission of India. Chandigarh Golf Club is registered as a Charitable organization registered under section 12A of Income tax, granted land by Administrator Chandigarh at the concessional rates by the UT Administration. Incumbent Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) president Lt Col HS Chahal (retd) and Major Rajinder Singh Virk (retd) will vie for the top post of the club in the elections to be held on January 29. Last year, as many as 1,154 members cast their vote, which was the highest turnout in the history of the club elections. Via: EMAILDear Hon'ble Excellency,We NRI Members of Chandigarh Golf Club request you to order revision of BY-LAWS of the Club, instituted under Charitable organization section 12A, to allow Voting Rights to its 101 NRI-Members , granted by Election Commission of India.2 months ago Patch
Community Corner 🌱Citizen Of The Year And Project Of The Year In Avon Lake + Tax Time! Applications for the Avon Lake Community Council’s Citizen of the Year and Project of the Year are now being accepted. Completed forms can be dropped off at Avon Lake City Hall, emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Martin O’Donnell, Project/Citizen of the Year, City of Avon Lake, 150 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake, OH 44012. (Avon Lake City Schools via Facebook) Avon Lake Police Department: "Have you picked up your application yet?" (Avon Lake Police Department via Facebook) Avon Lake Wrestling Club: "Ticket links for this week's matches: Elyria - bit.ly/3ZFesAw Lutheran West - bit.ly/3vNjzkk West Holmes - Cash only Fremont Ross - bit.ly/3iHQ40r" (Avon Lake Wrestling Club via Facebook) More from our sponsors — thanks for supporting local news!2 months ago Patch
SEE MORE: California Storm: 19 Photos Show Brutal Flooding and Harsh WeatherFlood Watches have been posted across the Bay Area and much of NorCal Wednesday into Thursday with the next atmospheric river. pic.twitter.com/IU8wZxPaBo— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) January 2, 2023“Flood Watches have been posted across the Bay Area and much of NorCal Wednesday into Thursday with the next atmospheric river,” NWS Bay Area said. NWS Bay Area said totals starting Tuesday night are expected to bring 4.5 to 6.5 inches in the Santa Lucia mountains and the Big Sur coast. San Francisco, along with the East Bay and South Bay areas, are forecast for 1.5 to 3 inches. This will increase the threat for widespread flooding and wind damage across the Bay Area & Central Coast.2 months ago Patch
Weather California Parched By Historic Drought: 2022 In Review As 2022 comes to a close, we take a look at how the driest period in 126 years has affected the Golden State. ReplyState officials are still worried as extreme drought conditions persist in California, making the three-year period from 2020 to 2022 the driest on record since 1896. Still, more of the Golden State is experiencing exceptional drought conditions than last year up from one percent to 7 percent. (U.S. Drought Monitor) In December, the Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors declared a regional drought emergency for Southern California as the agency prepares for a fourth consecutive drought year. In addition, three years of California drought are drawing down our local storage."3 months ago Patch
Restaurants & Bars WECO Expands Its Fresh Daily Dinner Delivery Service In Westchester The company helps solve dinner for those short on time, by delivering pre-selected, local chef-created, made-to-order meals on request. ReplyWECO Hospitality, a Massachusetts-based meal delivery service that focuses on local products and sustainability, is expanding its delivery footprint in Westchester County. ( WECO Hospitality)WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — There is a new dinner option in town and it doesn't require leaving home or sacrificing healthy eating habits for convenience. WECO, a meal delivery service that offers chef-crafted dinners made from scratch daily and delivered to your door, is now ringing the dinner bell in Westchester County. Food is prepared daily by chefs in local kitchens and hand-delivered fresh, rather than shrink-wrapped or shipped through the mail like many ready-to-eat meal services.3 months ago Patch
Weather Atmospheric River Pummels Newark; More Rain Coming A major storm caused flooding, power outages, and high winds all over the Bay Area. ReplyNewark, along with the rest of the Bay Area, is battening down the hatches as a severe storm caused by an atmospheric river slams the region. (Celeste Wetzel/Patch)NEWARK, CA — Newark and the Bay Area are battening down the hatches as a severe storm caused by an atmospheric river slams the region. Just south of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco recorded 1.86 inches; Oakland recorded 2.41 inches, and San Jose International Airport recorded 0.68 inches. PG&E said that 6,800 customers across the Bay Area reported power outages by 9 a.m. Tuesday.3 months ago Patch