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Elon Musk is one of the most easily recognizable figures in the world. Not only is he the wealthiest man on the planet, but his brash, edgy persona has made him an icon for several of the same reasons that others dislike him. However, when Tesla puts lives in danger and advertises its cars through false pretenses, it might be time to take things more seriously. 

Tesla’s recent controversies

Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaving court after attending a hearing for a tweet on social media
Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaving court | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tesla is no stranger to controversy – especially in recent months. The company might have a leg up on competitors in some regards, but the company’s malpractice often offsets this goodwill. 2021 was no exception to Musk’s history of dragging the company into the negative press. From design flaws to false advertisements, the company’s alleged willingness to put incomplete products out could eventually lead to its downfall. 

One of the biggest controversies of 2021 was a DFEH lawsuit claiming that the company has a history of internal racism that went unchecked by supervisors and executives alike. According to TIME, the company was “in effect, running a racially segregated workplace.” However, the problems did not stop there. 

While the company’s business practices have long garnered controversy, so have the company’s product standards. In 2021, the company came under fire after claims that its internal software endangered the lives of pedestrians and drivers alike, according to AutoEvolution. According to some reports, the company’s safety precautions were buggy and unreliable. 

Now, in a new year, Tesla is under more scrutiny after the South Korean government accused them of false advertising. 

Did Tesla lie to its customers in South Korea?

Electric vehicles often perform worse in freezing conditions, and drivers in colder climates would want to know about these problems. According to Reuters, the South Korean government is investigating Tesla’s Model 3. Tesla‘s South Korean website presents one version of the battery’s performance, but reality shows another. According to the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the company oversold this number. 

“We plan to hold a general meeting to review and determine the extent to which the automaker has violated the law and decide the level of sanctions,” an official at the KFTC told Reuters.

Consumer Reports notes how electric vehicles could generally experience a drop in performance in colder climates. However, Tesla’s website doesn’t acknowledge the near 20% dip when advertising the car’s features. On top of that, Yahoo reports how the South Korean government has accused the company of shorting customers who pay a required $84 deposit but back out of the deal. 

While Tesla isn’t alone in its alleged mistreatment of employees and customers, a potential recall is on the horizon. With supply chain issues already decimating the world economy, Tesla’s lead in the green car market may be closing, and with it, the goodwill of its customers. 

Tesla is also recalling thousands of models


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Reuters reported that Tesla will recall over 500,000 due to the unsafe pedestrian safety software. The recall includes the Model S, Model X, and Model Y models made between 2020 and 2022, and all Model 3 vehicles made since 2017. The Boombox function is meant to warn pedestrians that a car is near, but the vehicle allegedly obscures the warning sound at higher speeds. The company will disable the Boombox function with a wireless software update. 

According to Reuters, the latest recall is just another point against Tesla. The company has issued recalls regarding 10 different models alone over the last four months. From frozen door handles to other technical problems, Tesla may be losing its place as one of the most tech-savvy automakers on the market. For now, the company must work with what they have to prevent pedestrian accidents and false claims. Otherwise, its reputation will drop even further.