Tesla Leaks Reveal Unnerving Complaint Policy

It raises further questions about the automaker's Full Self-Driving program

Tesla factory
A German newspaper's investigation of Tesla is turning up some alarming news.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Good news for Tesla: the automaker’s Model Y is was the best-selling car in the world in the first quarter of 2023. Bad news for Tesla: the German newspaper Handelsblatt is currently sharing information from the automaker leaked by a whistleblower, and the revelations coming from the “Tesla Files” do not cast the EV giant in a great light.

What’s especially unsettling is what the leaked data reveals about Tesla’s preferred method of handling customer complaints. As Insider reports (via AutoBlog), included in the leaked data is an instruction that Tesla employees only communicate with the customers who made the complaints verbally — so as to leave no written or recorded records of the issues.

Many of the complaints related to Teslas experiencing issues with their brakes or acceleration, and in some cases resulted in crashes.

As The Verge pointed out in its reporting on the leak, this raises more questions over the safety of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system. According to a recent post on Not a Tesla App, Full Self-Driving recently updated its system of suspending drivers for violating Tesla policies, making the duration of driver suspensions shorter than they’d previously been.

Report: Tesla Employees Inappropriately Shared Videos Recorded by Customer Cars
One ex-worker told Reuters one such clip included “a man approaching a vehicle completely naked”

All told, the leak at the core of Handelsblatt‘s investigation spans 100 gigabytes of data, and includes 23,000 pages of documents. Meanwhile, high-profile Tesla incidents continue to take place — including a Michigan woman who was hospitalized after her Tesla drove her into a tree after being placed into Full Self-Driving mode.

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