A group called The Dawn Project has launched a campaign to boycott Tesla, accusing the company of selling defective self-driving technology and claiming that its vehicles are unsafe. The group’s Super Bowl ads showed footage of a Tesla with Autopilot technology ignoring a flashing stop sign on a school bus and striking child-sized dummies. The group’s website alleges that Tesla’s self-driving software is “defective” and that Elon Musk’s “reckless behavior” has resulted in over 1,000 crashes and at least 33 tragic deaths.
Tesla’s Autopilot technology, a marquee feature for the company, has come under increasing scrutiny from state and federal regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded in December that incorrect use of the software led to wrecks, leading to a recall of about two million Tesla vehicles for mandated Autopilot updates. The software has been criticized over claims that it can be easily fooled so that a driver does not have to be as attentive as intended or not even sitting in the driver’s seat when moving. The California attorney general has also began its own investigation into the safety of Autopilot software and Tesla vehicles. Despite this, Tesla did not agree with the NHTSA’s findings, but accepted the vehicle recall and software update.
Tesla has yet to respond to the accusations made in the ads launched by The Dawn Project, and as of the publication of this summary, The Hill has reached out to Tesla for comment.