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Tesla says Model X logs show recent crash was due to driver's actions, not caused by autopilot

By midian182 · 64 replies
Jun 7, 2016
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  1. Another Tesla customer has claimed that the vehicle’s semi-autonomous driving system drove the car into an obstacle. And, yet again, Tesla has refuted the allegations after the logs show it was the driver’s actions that caused the crash.

    This weekend, a Tesla Model X owner going by the name of Puzant Ozbag posted on the Tesla forums that his 5-day-old vehicle inexplicably accelerated at high speed on its own while entering a parking stall. It climbed “over 39 feet of planters,” before crashing into a building.

    He claimed that his wife suffered burns to her arms when the Tesla’s airbags deployed, and that if the car’s wheels were not slightly turned to the left, it would have crashed through a nearby store, injuring or killing patrons.

    The owner showed some post-accident pictures of the vehicle, adding that the damage to the car and building was so severe because it accelerated at “maximum speed.” He added that Tesla should immediately stop Model X deliveries, and urged other Tesla owners who had experienced anything similar to contact him.

    However, much like the case of the Model S that allegedly drove itself into a semi-trailer last month, Tesla has refuted the claims after analyzing the vehicle’s logs.

    In a statement to Electrek, Tesla put the blame firmly on the driver’s actions.

    We analyzed the vehicle logs which confirm that this Model X was operating correctly under manual control and was never in Autopilot or cruise control at the time of the incident or in the minutes before. Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%. Consistent with the driver’s actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed. Safety is the top priority at Tesla and we engineer and build our cars with this foremost in mind. We are pleased that the driver is ok and ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles.

    The car’s owner, who says his wife was behind the wheel at the time, continues to insist it was the Model X’s autonomous systems that caused the crash.

    My wife is a 45-year-old woman with a great driving record. Not and incapacitated driver. She has been going to that center for over 20 years and parking in the same stalls hundreds of times.

    She knows the difference between brake and accelerator pedal. I am waiting to hear from Tesla whether the accelerator pedal can be depressed by the car electronically similar to gas-powered cars’ pedal being depressed on their own while in cruise control.

    What’s next for the car’s owner is unclear. But it seems that as self-driving features appears in more vehicles, an increasing number of drivers are blaming the technology when accidents happen.

    Permalink to story.

  2. If you drive a Tesla, you are 5x more likely to be a terrible driver.
    alabama man likes this.
  3. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    Sounds like a guy who thinks his wife never poops and she farts rose petals. Accidents can and do occur - it was a new car to him/her (5-days old) and sometimes things happen that normally wouldn't when the equipment is new to you. She pressed the gas, thinking it was brake. Being an electric, it gave full torque and off you go. 0-60 in 2.5s ain't so great if your road is only 39-ft long.

    If this wasn't a Telsa, wouldn't have made the news, even it was cruise control.
    Reehahs, SirChocula, TomSEA and 4 others like this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,045   +1,377

    Good grief. Where do people like this come from?
    alabama man likes this.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,654   +407

    I like the rear plate "Zero emissions". Generally any totalled car will do that :D
    Hexic, VitalyT and ikesmasher like this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,440   +2,891

    The only issue I have is the fact that Tesla and not an independent outside body reviewed and reported on the data. Tesla is probably right, but to be completely transparent, the NITSA or a similar agency should be doing the review and reporting ....
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,087   +1,366

    I see your point, but we can't have some govt board reviewing car crashes with minor property damage.

    I've hit the gas instead of the brake twice in my life - neither had any ill effect since my 4-cyl '96 Camry didn't exactly jump off the road when you gave it gas, but I understand how it happens.

    Along with the car's logs - I think they should check her phone. Being distracted + seeing something out of the corner of your eye like a squirrel or something would make someone instinctively slam the brakes - especially if you're already going slow. Do it in an unfamiliar car with fast pickup and you can hit the gas instead and hit the building. This is what I'd guess happened.
  8. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    I remember there was a video where a parked car suddenly moves backward after the owner went out and luckily did not hit anything. In the video, the woman was a driver. She was saying after the incident that she always use the handbrake.

    So what is similar to the accident in the article? I see people who clearly should not be given a driver's license because they can't take responsibility of their actions. The logs wont lie. Also if no one is aware of this, new cars in North America has some sort of a black box where logs can be retrieved. I was made aware of this when I bought my car last year.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,140   +1,566

    I seriously doubt that a 45-year-old woman which has been driving for over 20 years will park car using autopilot. does she even understand how to turn it on? unlikely.
  10. Joaquin Marti

    Joaquin Marti TS Member

    What can you expect? He's filming vertically...
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,283

    I completely agree. Tesla wouldn't want to admit fault if it was theirs, and the driver would want a replacement car and Tesla to sort out the damage to the complex if it was theirs. These types of incidents should be handled by a neutral, independent body.
    Darth Shiv and Uncle Al like this.
  12. Waxinator

    Waxinator TS Rookie

    You didn't read the whole article..? "Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%." This has nothing to do with being a woman, 45 year, forever driving or Autopilot. Maybe she just pushed a heavy handbag down from the center console onto the rheostat (=gas). ;-)
    Reehahs likes this.
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,278   +567

    I noticed there was no mention of an insurance company in the article. If the vehicle was covered by insurance (we apparently don't know that it was but you would think so), an insurance company would want to investigate the cause. Although it is not exactly a neutral independent body, an insurance company investigation could shed some light on the subject beyond, "he said, she said."

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,559   +671

    Doesn't the car have a freaking camera? Does it not record the journey like a dash cam? Maybe they need an in-car camera as well to show the drivers actions.

    Anyway, this feels a lot like the "unattended acceleration" issues blamed on the Toyota Prius years ago. Didn't they find that people were lying and there was never a fault of the vehicle?

    Don't get me wrong I know manufactures lie and cover things up as well, but people are always looking for a free ride.

    If I were a Tesla driver I'd put a camera in my car to start recording my actions along with a view of the road. If this type of thing actually is happening and Tesla's logs are self-corrupting or being modified by Tesla technicians then customer video may prove it...
  15. Michael7

    Michael7 TS Rookie

    OK but how is this body to be funded? Obiously it would have to be government and taxpayers would be funding it. And why would taxpayers chip in for investigating some rich guys car crashes?
  16. Michael7

    Michael7 TS Rookie

    Seems like the best excuse after you mess up it to blame the autopilot.
  17. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,140   +1,566

    not doubting the logs. what I meant is that even without the logs nobody would believe the whole "the autopilot did it" excuse.
  18. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,127   +2,558

    This should be investigated by an independent party that has no ties with Tesla or the plaintiff.
  19. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,410   +569

    I'm liking all these electronic cars and their logs you catch straight up liars!

    And now the insurance companies will just grab the logs instead of listening to BS from people that screw up.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,937   +3,309

    Why not? With as many tax credits as that company has received, the government ought to look the matter over.

    That, combined with the fact Musk is constantly running his mouth about "the other guys are out to get me because I'm too progressive". Right or wrong, you need oversight for whatever Tesla has to say. If that vindicates the car and indicts the driver, so be it.

    We've become a really creepy society regarding frivolous lawsuits. The more an uninterested 3rd party could get rid of fairly and equitably, the less ambulance chasers we'd have advertising on TV.

    But all that excess torque off the line is the best part of electric motors, isn't it?

    You do have a point about the phone though. Once upon a time it was difficult for a woman to shut her mouth. The telecoms have recently made it nigh on impossible.
  21. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,888   +682

    Insurance is mandatory, so yes the vehicle was likely covered, but in a case like this, insurance might not cover you. The driver is at fault if they can't prove it to be some form of manufacturing defect or malfunctioning software, one thing is for sure, that was not "over 39 feet of planters", more like 3 feet of planters and some grass. The sad thing is this happens a lot more than you'd imagine, people accidentally mistake the gas for the brake pretty frequently, the only thing that has changed is now the car can drive itself so it can take the blame, at least that's what this bad drivers think. Guess again, the car logs everything!
    Lionvibez likes this.
  22. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,914   +540

    The Prius had a cruise control/brake system fault. They tried to blame the owners but the code quality was SOOOO bad that it was frankly amazing more catastrophes hadn't happened. Last I heard, they copped a flogging by regulators and the public.
    Arris likes this.
  23. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,654   +407

    And who is to say that their logs are infallible? Could be bugs/errors with the logging.
  24. Aivaras

    Aivaras TS Rookie

    "I am waiting to hear from Tesla whether the accelerator pedal can be depressed by the car electronically similar to gas-powered cars’ pedal being depressed on their own while in cruise control."
    This comment shows a total lack of understanding of how the system works, and reduces any doubt in my mind that it's driver error.
    However, even though logs show that the accelerator was pressed to 100%, doesn't mean that the driver actually pressed it. Unlikely, but there could have been an error in the pedal module which is responsible for reading the pedal angle and sending it to the motor control system. A fault would be easy to identify (the angle could be erratic for example, inconsistent with a human's control input).
  25. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

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