Automotive

Ralph Nader Calls Tesla FSD Rollout “Dangerous And Irresponsible”

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American political activist Ralph Nader has called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to use its authority to “order that the FSD technology be removed in every Tesla.”

The safety advocate, who came to prominence after the 1965 publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, called the deployment of Tesla‘s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades,” in a statement released on August 10.

In his statement, Nader claimed that research has shown that the system malfunctions every eight minutes on average. Although he doesn’t cite the study he is quoting, Project Dawn, an openly anti-FSD advocacy group founded by industry figure Dan O’Dowd, claimed that the system makes a “critical driving error” roughly every eight minutes in January.

Read Also: Feds Step Up Probe Of Teslas In Autopilot Crashing Into Emergency Vehicles

Nader is the latest in a growing number of observers who have criticized Tesla and advanced driver assistance features. Just last week, the California Department of Motor Vehicles accused the automaker of making or disseminating “statements that are untrue or misleading, and not based on facts,” pointing to claims the automaker made on its website relating to its “Autopilot” function.

The complaint could have serious penalties, including the revocation of Tesla’s license to sell vehicles in the state of California. The organization says, though, that it is simply looking for the automaker to more clearly convey the limitations of its ADAS systems to consumers.

Tesla continues to sell the system and to offer new ADAS products, though. In late June, Tesla reintroduced “Enhanced Autopilot,” which adds automatic lane changing, automatic parking, and a summon feature to the unenhanced feature.

Autopilot, a more limited ADAS suite that allows the vehicle to handle some driving tasks, has also come under heavy scrutiny. The subject of a NHTSA investigation following 16 highly publicized crashes, jurisdictions around the world are reckoning with the system’s abilities.

“This nation should not allow this malfunctioning software,” write Nader. “Together we need to send an urgent message to the casualty-minded regulators that Americans must not be test dummies for a powerful, high-profile corporation and its celebrity CEO. No one is above the laws of manslaughter.”



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