Research finds Elon Musk company’s cars are as much as 16 times more likely than the average car to be recalled, but there’s a catch.
Elon Musk is famous for a lot of things, not least of which is his dislike of government regulators.
He famously ignored health officials during the pandemic for ordering plant closures at the start of the covid-19 pandemic.
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And in the past year, since getting involved with and ultimately buying X Corp. (nee Twitter), his penchant for right-wing causes and personalities has grown notably, along with his attacks on San Francisco and California leaders for various sins against capitalism.
Some Musk’s greatest umbrage, however, is reserved for automobile safety regulators.
In 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association ordered the recall of nearly 600,000 Tesla vehicles over a “boombox” feature which allowed drivers to play a variety of sounds, including farts, outside the vehicle. Musk complained at the time that the “fun police” made the company withdraw the feature.
Teslas Had a Software Problem
And earlier this year, Musk took exception over a recall for more than 360,000 Teslas because of a problem with its full self-driving beta software.
The agency noted that the issue could cause Tesla drivers to travel straight through an intersection, even though they were in a turn-only lane. In addition, the cars may fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and could drive through a yellow light
The issue affected Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built between 2016 and 2023.
Tesla addressed the issue through an “over the air update,” prompting Musk to tweet: “The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”
Anachronistic or not, the issue is likely to keep coming up.
Tesla Claims Four of the Top Five Spots on a Bad List
A recent study by iSeeCars.com tried to determine which cars were most likely to be recalled over a 30-year lifespan.
Tesla claimed not one, not two, but four of the top five spots on the list, interrupted only by the Porsche Panamera in the second position.
The Tesla Model Y, which came in first, is close to 16 times more likely to be recalled than the average car in the study.
But before Musk completely blows a gasket, it should be noted that the study did acknowledge his views about over-the-air recalls.
“Even though safety recalls that have OTA fixes are more convenient to repair, it should be noted that all safety recalls are issued for the same reason: The NHTSA’s analysis of the vehicle issue identified a safety-related defect that violates its vehicle safety standards and needs to be addressed.”
Backing out the forecasted over-the-air updates did improve things for Tesla. The Model Y dropped from first to seventh on the list, while the Model 3 fell from third to 11th place. The Model S and Model X did not appear in the revised list.
And anybody seriously concerned about the safety of Teslas probably should consider the horrific real world experience several months ago when a man allegedly drove his Tesla off a 250-foot coastal cliff south of San Francisco on purpose. The car was severely mangled but all four occupants survived.