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Watch out, Elon Musk isn’t amused by videos of the Tesla Model 3 hitting child-sized mannequins. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to prove if the safety systems really work. The automaker is taking legal action against such Tesla Model 3 videos. 

Does the Tesla Model 3 Autopilot system work? 

2022 Tesla Model 3 safe
2022 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

Currently, there is a lot of debate focusing on the Tesla Model 3 and its safety systems, such as the Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD) features. According to Motor Trend, critics even debate over the lane-centering and adaptive cruise control features because they don’t seem safe. 

Dan O’Dowd, founder of the Dawn Project and Green Hills Software, which competes against Tesla’s safety software, kicked off a congressional bid to get rid of Tesla’s autopilot system. He filmed a video of the Autopilot system running over a child mannequin to show that it fails. 

The video shows a Tesla Model 3 with the FSD Beta 10.12.2 hitting a child-size mannequin in a crosswalk. The vehicle never slows down, even after hitting the child. This led to quite a few video recreations that YouTube has taken down. 

Reportedly, Tesla claims that the video is defamatory, and wants it removed. It misrepresents the capabilities of Autopilot and FSD. Also, Tesla fans started making videos with their real children to prove it works. No children have been harmed. 

Is the Model 3 safe? 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the Tesla Model 3 after the Autopilot feature led to several crashes. There are reports of Tesla models crashing into stationary vehicles, objects, and emergency vehicles on the roadside. 

But the Model 3 has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and is an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. It earned a ‘Good’ score in most crash simulations, which is the highest score possible. 

The Model 3 can avoid hitting pedestrians at speeds of 12, 25, and 37 mph. It also issued a warning 2.9 seconds before impact. It received an Acceptable score for child seats because the anchors are too deep in the cushions. 

But the Model 3 has seven recalls for the year. The computer system freezes and blocks visibility. There are two recalls because the pedestrian warning sound can be obscured, the windshield may not defrost, the vehicle might not stop at a stop sign, and the seat belt reminder might not chime. 

What’s the biggest Model 3 complaint? 

2022 Tesla Model 3 interior
2022 Tesla Model 3 interior | Tesla

According to the NHSTA, there are 370 complaints listed for the 2022 Tesla Model 3. Most of them are related to the forward collision avoidance system. Owners are reporting instances of phantom braking, being stuck at 60 mph, and their speed suddenly dropping to 10 mph. 

The cause of these incidents isn’t precisely clear, but the phantom braking occurs while the road is free of obstruction. Many drivers said they’re thankful they didn’t get rear-ended while experiencing these problems. 

We will have to keep an eye on how this case and the investigations turn out. Stay tuned for updates about the NHTSA’s investigations. You don’t need to put a real child or a mannequin in harm’s way. 

The investigation should determine how safe the Model 3 actually is, and Tesla isn’t taking the videos very well.


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