Elon Musk’s Tesla Management Is Terrible: Since late last year, when billionaire Elon Musk’s terrible leadership of Twitter began, critics have had a field day pointing out the avalanche-like decline in Tesla stock value that has accompanied it. It is obvious that Musk’s obsession with, and mismanagement of, the social media platform has eroded investor faith in his once-promising “self-driving car” business.
But let’s not forget that the abundance of fatalities and litigation involving the corporation may be another offender. As we speak, around 765,000 Tesla vehicles are whizzing across American streets with the so-called “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” systems installed, a startling example of widespread human beta testing in which we are all naive participants.
According to data from regulators, 273 crashes involving Tesla vehicles using Autopilot software occurred in the year leading up to July 2022, which accounts for 70% of the 392 crashes involving all advanced driver-assistance systems. Regulators have now ordered automakers to disclose all crashes where this type of software was being used within thirty seconds of impact to prevent them from using this as a loophole to underreport.
Regulators discovered scandalously that Tesla’s vehicles had a habit of turning off around one second before the crash would happen. When Tesla cars on Autopilot continued hitting parked emergency vehicles, frequently at night, and despite flashing lights, cones, and other warnings, it got so bad that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began looking into the software last year.
The NHTSA moved its investigation into the final stage before possibly issuing a recall because, by the middle of last year, thirty-nine of the forty-eight crashes on its wholly separate list of special crash investigations involved Tesla vehicles and had resulted in the deaths of nineteen individuals. One of those collisions involved a Tesla simply barreling into a motorcycle in front of it, killing the driver. This was just one of several such incidents, which have been occurring more frequently.
The fact that Tesla’s “self-driving” vehicles aren’t technically self-driving at all—instead needing ongoing supervision from a “fully attentive” driver with their hands on the wheel, according to the company’s website is part of the issue. The other issue is that you wouldn’t know this from the company’s marketing materials or its well-known CEO’s public statements
These have talked about how the software enables you to drive “without you touching the wheel” and that the driver “needs to do nothing” because “the car is driving itself”; this is probably why some of the drivers involved in these accidents were using their phones to watch movies or play video games.
It should come as no surprise that Musk and the business have been sued over these and other issues. According to complaints filed by the families of two of the deaths, Tesla vehicles are faulty, do not have automatic emergency braking systems, and “suddenly and accidentally accelerated to an extreme, unsafe, and unmanageable speed.
” A class-action lawsuit filed against Tesla last year claimed that the company misrepresented its autonomous driving technology’s status as fully functional or very close to it starting in 2016. Another lawsuit against Musk was filed for repeatedly declaring that fully autonomous vehicles would be available within the next year or two, dating back to 2015. Other class-action lawsuits make similar claims, including that door handles are faulty and that cars abruptly stop for impassable obstructions.
Other lawsuits assert that Tesla’s problems extend beyond its manufacturing process. Over claimed widespread, alarming levels of racial discrimination at its Fremont, California, production, including the routine use of racial insults and black workers being segregated into separate sections, the corporation has been faced with at least 10 lawsuits, including one from the State of California.
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A different case claims that Musk improperly wields influence over the Tesla board of directors, which he exploited to get an excessively large pay package. So yes, Musk’s poor management of Twitter has undoubtedly harmed the company that first made him famous. However, that company is rife with controversy and deadly incompetence, reminding us that Musk’s reputation as a brilliant CEO was tainted long before he entered the social media business.