The letter cites “an alarming” Reuters investigation printed on December 20 that uncovered how Tesla has blamed drivers for frequent failures of parts it has lengthy recognized have been faulty.
“We write with excessive concern following latest reporting about Tesla’s data of security flaws in its automobiles and concealment of the causes of those flaws from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” states the letter, which is signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and Edward J. Markey, of Massachusetts.
The senators name on Musk to right “obvious false and deceptive representations” made to the protection company.
The Reuters report discovered that Tesla instructed NHTSA and clients that the frequent failures of faulty elements in its electric vehicles have been attributable to driver “abuse,” corresponding to hitting a curb. In 2020, Tesla gave that rationalization in a letter to the protection company explaining why it will not recall a suspension half referred to as the aft hyperlink in the USA, regardless of having simply recalled it in China.
Tesla paperwork reviewed by Reuters present the automaker’s engineers for years tracked frequent failures of aft hyperlinks and different suspension, steering and axle elements, typically on comparatively new cars. The corporate instructed its service managers to inform clients that the elements weren’t defective because it struggled to include hovering warranty prices, the information reviewed by Reuters present.
“We’re disturbed that you’d blame your clients for these failures,” said the letter from Blumenthal and Markey, each Democrats. “It’s unacceptable that Tesla wouldn’t solely try to shift the accountability for the substandard high quality of its automobiles to the folks buying them, but additionally make that very same flawed argument to NHTSA.”
Musk and Tesla didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon the senators’ letter.
After this text was printed, Tesla posted a response to the Reuters investigation on Musk’s social media platform, X, previously generally known as Twitter. The automaker mentioned the article’s headline – “Tesla blamed drivers for failures of elements it lengthy knew have been faulty” – was “wildly deceptive” and mentioned the story “is riddled with incomplete and demonstrably incorrect info.”
Tesla mentioned its “buyer retention is among the many finest and highest within the trade” and the corporate “is truthful and clear with our security regulators across the globe and any insinuation in any other case is apparent flawed.”
The automaker additionally challenged one buyer’s account that the suspension on his 2023 Model Y collapsed in the future after he purchased the automotive. Tesla mentioned its “telemetry” information confirmed there was a previous “crash that resulted on this repair not being lined by guarantee.” The proprietor instructed Reuters he was the one one that drove the automotive earlier than the suspension failure and hadn’t had an accident.
Sweden’s Transport Company mentioned on Friday that it’s investigating suspension failures in Tesla vehicles. The inquiry is just like one being carried out in neighboring Norway, the place the Norwegian Public Roads Administration mentioned final week it was trying into client complaints about decrease rear management arms breaking on its Model S and X automobiles.
Markey and Blumenthal have beforehand raised considerations about Tesla’s advertising practices and the protection of its automated driving expertise.
In April, the senators wrote to Musk questioning him about one other Reuters investigation, which reported that teams of Tesla workers had circulated, through an inside messaging system, personal and generally extremely invasive recordings from clients’ automotive cameras.