Tesla Required To Report All Self-Driving Crashes: Allegedly It’s Not

There has been a lot of back and forth between Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its self-driving technology. Known as Full Self-Driving Beta or FSDB, all carmakers are required to report all crashes to the NHTSA with this software. But a Tesla investor’s research shows not all of the carmaker’s crashes show up in NHTSA data. 

How was the Tesla crash non-reporting discovered?

esla crash
Tesla crash with FSDB Level 2 software | YouTube

Taylor Ogan is a stock investor heavy into green technology companies and owns stock in Tesla. The lack of information about self-driving crashes he saw made him investigate as much as he could about it. To his surprise, he found there were more Tesla FSDB crashes than reported to the NHTSA.

Since November 2021, there has been a string of crashes. Tesla initiated a recall of 12,000 cars around this time for a software communication glitch. Spontaneous emergency braking and false collision warnings were responsible for the recall. 

But there was another crash before November. This happened in Houston on October 24, 2021, according to Ogan. But then, he saw that in all, there were 25 other Tesla crashes that weren’t showing up in NHTSA Standing General Order data. Five of those involved fatalities according to Carbuzz

What does the NHTSA Level 2 designation mean?

Tesla crash
Tesla crash with FSDB Level 2 software | YouTube

Tesla’s FSDB software is “Level 2.” That means that there not only needs to be a driver, but the driver’s hands must be on the steering wheel at all times. It is not, as some have claimed, full self-driving technology. 

An NHTSA Standing General Order means “identified manufacturers and operators must report to the agency certain crashes involving vehicles equipped with automated driving systems or SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems.” The NHTSA issued this in June 2021.

“ Entities named in the General Order must report a crash if Level 2 ADAS was in use at any time within 30 seconds of the crash and the crash involved a vulnerable road user or resulted in a fatality, a vehicle tow-away, an airbag deployment, or any individual being transported to a hospital for medical treatment.”

Did all of the reported Tesla crashes involve FSDB technology?

Tesla crash
Tesla crash with FSDB Level 2 software | Getty

All of these incidents were not a result of errors in FSDB software. Road conditions, driver error, and split-second maneuvers by vehicles in close proximity to FSDB-equipped cars are all possibilities. Regardless of fault, reporting all such incidents is required by the Standing General Order. 

According to the latest data from the NHTSA released earlier this month (June 2022), Tesla has sent in 273 incident reports, more than all of the other companies. Honda is second with 90 reports. But this is not an indictment on Tesla. Most FSDB-equipped cars currently on the roads are Tesla. And it has more vehicles equipped with the technology. 

Which states have the most reported Tesla Level 2 crashes?

A blue 2022 Tesla Model Y.
The 2022 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

California has reported the most crashes of any state with 125 Level 2 reports. Florida is behind California with 34, then Texas with 33. In all, the NHTSA has received 392 crash reports as of May 15, 2022. 

We hope that the relationship between Tesla reporting and incidents identified has a reasonable explanation. If it does, we’ll update this post. But if not, then Tesla could be facing some serious consequences. 

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