Tesla Motors Inc is not out of the crash quagmire yet. Recently, the driver (Pang) of Model X, which crashed in Montana earlier this month, wrote an open letter to the Chief Executive Elon Musk. In this letter, Pang asked the automaker to take responsibility for the mistakes of its products. He accused the electric carmaker for using the drivers as “lab rats” for testing its Autopilot system.
What happened on the crash day?
His letter reads that he and his friend drove about 600 miles on Interstate 90 on the way to Yellowstone National Park. Pang wrote that he drove for about a mile when he exited the highway to get on Montana route 2, and when he saw the conditions were clear, he turned on Autopilot again. After they drove about another mile on state route 2, the electric car suddenly veered right and crashed into the safety barrier post.
“It happened so fast, and we did not hear any warning beep. Autopilot did not slow down at all after the crash, but kept going in the original speed setting and continued to crash into more barrier posts in high speed. I managed to step on the break, turn the car left and stopped the car after it crashed 12 barrier posts,” the letter read.
After that they heard the car making abnormal loud sound after they stopped. He and his friend got out and ran away as fast they could because they were afraid that the battery was short-circuited or broken. After they had ran about 50 feet, they found that the sound coming was that of the engine running in high speed. “I returned to the car and put it in parking, that is when the loud sound disappeared.”
Pang said he was horrified by the fact that the autopilot system did not slow down his Model X even after the initial crash. The autopilot continued to drive the car with the speed of 55 to 60 mph, and crashed another 11 posts after they crashed on the first barrier post. The autopilot was still trying to accelerate and spinning the engine in high speed even after he stopped the car. He asks what if it was not barrier posts on the right side, but a crowd?
Tesla contradicts the driver’s claims
Tesla Motors Inc reviewed the driving logs after the accident, and reported that the electric car was, despite numerous warnings and alarms, operated for more than two miles with no hands on the steering wheel. Pang defended himself saying he did not hear any audible warnings.
In the letter, Pang said it is clear that Tesla Motors Inc is selling a beta product with bugs to consumers, and asking them to be responsible for the liability of the bugging autopilot system. “Tesla is using all Tesla drivers as lab rats,” said Pang.