back to article Alarming: Tesla lawsuit claims collision monitoring system is faulty

All-electric vehicle maker Tesla is facing a potential class action lawsuit over claims that some of its cars suffer from a defect involving false collision alerts that not only inconvenience the driver, but could also represent a serious safety hazard. The complaint was filed in Cook County, Illinois, by a plaintiff claiming …

  1. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    Just can't win

    First it's reports that Telsa cars can't see things like fire trucks, ambulances, or even semi/lorry trailers if they're stationary. Now it's the opposite problem and the car is detecting things that aren't actually there. And people actually pay a not insignificant amount of money for this over and above the cost of the car!

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge

      Re: Just can't win

      The issue is that Tesla have consistently oversold the capabilities of their vehicles, from 'autopilot' to 'Full Self-Drive' when in reality, these features are about as reliable as ChatGPT is for replacing law courts... There's just too much hype and too little substance.

      Tesla sells a sci-fi dream that doesn't exist, and cashes in off the back of uninformed customers, and lazy investors who are for the most part just cocaine snorting gamblers

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Just can't win

        Oh absolutely. It probably got lost in translation, so to speak, but my previous comment was meant to be tongue very firmly in cheek.

        If I were being serious, I'd say US and EU regulators, among others, should be requiring Tesla to not only issue a recall on FSD, disabling it on every single car that has it, but also refund every single customer, in full. They would also be prohibited from accepting any kind of advance payment on this function until they had something that could be pushed to cars immediately. I might allow people to put money into an escrow account, so Tesla can't touch it until they deliver on their software, but no way in hell is Tesla going to be able to take people's money for a non-existent feature, that may never exist, and is tied to a specific car as opposed to owner, and use it to fund their manufacturing efforts. That is fraud. I'd say it qualifies as bait and switch which is not acceptable. If a product can't make it in the market on its own merits, it doesn't deserve to exist. And if the only way Tesla can continue to exist is by scamming customers for products like FSD, then maybe it deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history, or end up just one more brand in some other car maker's stable.

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Just can't win

        "There's just too much hype and too little substance." That's Lying Leon's M O

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just can't win

      I think this story needs to be read in conjunction with the other Tesla story this week, https://www.theregister.com/2023/03/15/tesla_key_mixup

      What is probably happening is when one Tesla is failing to see things like "fire trucks, ambulances, or even semi/lorry trailers if they're stationary" what is really happening is that another Tesla somewhere else is issuing the alarm and taking evasive action. It's all clear to me now, when one Tesla hunts down a cop car another is brake testing some innocent in another state. :-)

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Just can't win

        What do you expect when Elon isn't building the cars himself?

        Joking aside, since he has gone 'right' politically and is fully engrossed with sending Twitter to a (IMHO) well deserved grave, Tesla seems to have lost focus.

        To many in the US, Tesla is like the MAGA GOP, a cult. Say anything against either of them, and they will set the dogs on you. That is not good for the long term.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: Just can't win

          Frankly, if a company can't survive without the CEO for short durations, it doesn't deserve to exist. That said, I think if Twitler were to be ousted from Tesla, the company would ultimately do much better. Instead of being a volume dealer like Ford, GM, Toyota, etc, they could be more of a specialty brand like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Less in the sense of selling ridiculously expensive and overpowered cars, and more in the sense that they have a small niche market that they cater to and don't even attempt to compete with the Honda or VW.

          Maybe they could combine "sporty" with "luxury" and cater to people who spend large amounts of time in their car and want to be able to do so in comfort. Seats that are like sitting on a cloud, top notch sound system, maybe some extra battery capacity, lots of trunk space, maybe even a driver's seat that can convert into a bed. If you're going to spend large swaths of your life stuck in traffic or driving from Point A to Point B, you can at least do so in style and comfort.

        2. Chet Mannly

          Re: Just can't win

          I think there have been problems all along and people were too enamoured with Elon to complain. Like how Steve Jobs got away with saying there was nothing wrong with the iPhone it was that users were holding it wrong.

          But now Elon is p*ssing off all the left-wingers on Twitter people aren't so forgiving...

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Just can't win

            "But now Elon is p*ssing off all the left-wingers": Bless. Is your name Donny?

        3. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Just can't win

          "gone 'right' politically" Splendid!

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Just can't win

      "Alert noise is 'loud and distracting' Indeed, Lying Leon the Fascist is.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    VW too

    VW has a crude radar system that randomly beeps and slams on brakes. My guess is it's seeing reflections of approaching adjacent cars off the car in front.

    NHTSA doesn't seem to mind those, but I wish they would.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: VW too

      YMMV: I have a Golf 7.5. The only time that mine did that was when a child ran out from behind a parked van in a car park. I was doing about 15 km/hr, the car stopped about 1 metre away from the child - I'm not certain that I, unaided, would have been able to but the vehicle would probably have been doing <5km/hr.

      On the other hand, I live in a jurisdiction where undertaking is legal. If I use driver assistance on a dual carriageway the car regularly decelerates to match the speed of a vehicle in the outside lane - This is particularly noticeable when they have moved into a turning lane and have slowed down ready to turn off/stop. The only way to stop this (other than turn it off completely) it to press on the accelerator for a second.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: VW too

        My VW Golf slams on the brakes occasionally on narrow twisty country lanes in the UK, even when there are no cars in front. I would not say it’s frequent, it I’d guess at least once a month?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: VW too

          Even without active monitoring "assist" features can be a pain on twisty country road. The Mrs' Y2K model Merc had brake assist. The idea is that lots of crashes are caused by people not pressing the brake peddle hard enough when it is really needed, so if it judged that you wanted to do an an emergency stop it would do it for you. It seemed to largely guess at this by how quickly you moved your foot from the throttle to the brake peddle. I often triggered this on country roads when "making due progress" where you're frequently hoping from one peddle to the other, frequently coming onto the brakes to manage weight transfers only to find the car decides to do a full emergency stop. The only way to cancel this was to fully lift your foot from the peddle.

          Doesn't make for a very smooth drive.

          1. Stork Silver badge

            Re: VW too

            Perhaps your driving is too “dynamic “ for the Mercedes?

        2. jollyboyspecial

          Re: VW too

          Remember when Nissan were making a big deal of advertising their collision avoidance scheme in the UK a few years back. I drove a Nissan with that feature at the time but kept it disabled. There was however a light on the dash that appeared to be a collision warning light. I hadn't really noticed this light until I eat driving along a Drystone wall lined country road one day. As the road approached a hump back bridge the verge disappeared and the wall was next to the carriageway. As the road curved right immediate before the bridge there was a telegraph pole on the road side of the wall. Not all that clever really. The light on the dash blinked on as I took the bend. When an unexpected light comes on it's always a worry especially when it's not your car. The light had been on so briefly I want even sure which light had been on. I five about for a couple more days without a repeat of the light and began to relax. Then it happened again in exactly the same place. This time I saw which light had come on and checked the manual. It was part of the collision avoidance system. It happened at that same spot over the could of weeks without fail. Presumably the system was clever enough to track the wall and not consider it a collision risk, but the pole was in the road and therefore it was a commission risk.

          I can see the logic behind all of this, but I can also see that it's potentially dangerous. Imagine if the auto braking feature had been enabled. The road was fairly narrow so at that point a driver will be contending with avoiding the telegraph like while staying on their own side of the road while at the same time keeping an eye out for incoming vehicles cresting the bridge potentially straddling the white line. Imagine if at that point the car suddenly decides to panic brake. If anything it increases the risk of a collision.

          The same light also started to flash repeatedly when driving down a country lane. The lane was pretty straight and lead to a public car park at a beauty spot. However according to the sat nav the road ended at a castle grid. As soon as I crossed the cattle grid the light began to flash and continued to do so for the quarter mile to the car park. Maybe it was a consequence of the road not being marked in the satnav or maybe it was that the road was so damned bumpy. But I did wonder if, had it been enabled, the collision avoidance system would have stopped the car altogether.

        3. RobDog

          Honda not immune

          I had a 2016 Honda Civic, which had some sort of radar/collision avoidance/brake assistance. One day I pulled out of a roundabout quite enthusiastically but not dangerously and under complete control into these traffic flow. HAL interpreted that my acceleration was going to put my car under the back of an articulated lorry trailer 15 yards away (it wasn’t, Inhad already lifted off) and slammed on the anchors - the worst place it could have done so. By now a car was approaching from the right, and had the stupid system not released it’s grip within half a second, that car would have embedded itself in my door. Scary.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Toyota too

      My Toyota scared the heck out of me one day blaring an echo of godzilla and flashing an icon on the front panel. Then it did it again a short time later. And again. After finally getting home I grabbed the manual to figure out what the flashing icon was supposed to mean.

      (The painfully designed icon gave me no information whatsoever - "Hey there!" would have been more useful)

      Turns out it was a collision warning. There had been no danger of collisions.

      Oh! I finally clicked. It was a curving two lane road. And sometimes there'd be a car in the opposite direction. And if it was on the inside curve, and I was entering the outside curve, well... it *could* have hit me if the other driver wanted to give me a double-handed wave. They *were* aimed *straight* at me, after all.

      Let's start to call them Tarota for the quality of their predictions.

    3. Archivist

      Re: VW too

      Mercedes too. It was a relief when snow buildup caused the radar to fail. Then I only had a cancellable warning every 10 minutes, instead of a squark.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: VW too

      Where a multi lane highway curves and there is slower trafffic in a different lane and the lane divider markings are a bit faint, I have learned to to use 100ms of my time to interrupt the self drive with a button on the steering wheel.

      Otherwise the car can’t tell if the vehicle directly in front, because it’s further round the curve, is not in the same lane.

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: VW too

      NHTSA doesn't seem to mind those, but I wish they would.

      Well, the NHTSA doesn't actually go looking for issues. It acts on complaints from owners. So if you want something done, it would help to file a complaint on their website.

    6. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: VW too

      My 2021 Audi (which is part of VW group) has something they call "Audi presense" that will warn and apply the brakes if it thinks you're about to get in a crash. I've only ever had one false warning, shortly after I bought the car. I was driving along at maybe 35 mph/55 kph and a car in front of me slowed to turn onto a side street, but since it would have completed its turn before I got there I just kept going at the same speed without touching the brakes just remained "ready" to hit them in case he didn't finish the turn before I got there.

      I guess it detected I was rapidly approaching a car ahead in my lane (since that car hadn't quite fully completed its turn) so it pumped the brakes a couple times HARD. Scared the crap out of me! I set presense to "late" warning from the middle default and haven't had it activate since.

      It can be turned off, but since it hasn't been in the way since I figure maybe someday it might save my ass if a deer or kid jumps out in the road or the car in front of me slams on the brakes hard when I'm not paying enough attention.

      1. sgp

        Re: VW too

        I had an Mk8 Golf that would slam on the brakes at the curved exit of a tunnel every single time. Turned it off as it scared the hell out of me.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: VW too

          No tunnels nearby so I can't see if mine has the same issue.

  3. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Another money making scheme gone wrong

    This one is obvious, surely.

    > He also claimed that it was affecting his insurance premiums, as he is enrolled with Tesla Insurance, and this implements a usage-based safety discount scheme which determines the premium based on certain driving metrics, which includes the frequency of safety alerts.

    How could any Tesla insurance sales manager possibly be expected *not* to put in a Change Request to have the alert sensors get a little trigger happy for anyone who could be squeezed for a bit more cash?

    Braking hard for no good reason is pushing their luck, but there just wasn't enough being made from putting up the premiums for "manoeuvring without adequate use of signals"[1]

    [1] as, even when the software managed to short out the lights completely, the Teslas' signalling was still better than BMWs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another money making scheme gone wrong

      as he is enrolled with Tesla Insurance

      Just pass on the health insurance offer.

      Once your cancer drugs will cost more than the accidental death payout, the back of a fire truck is looming large in your future.

  4. Peter Prof Fox

    What do you expect?

    Human drivers are not 100% perfect. If they get found guilty of causing an (specific) accident they get a penalty.

    If AI randomly gets involved in an accident (Remember AI isn't 100% perfect) then who gets the blame? There are plenty of ways to point fingers... And plenty of ways for manufacturers to shrug off their responsibilities as being 'too perfectionist'.

    1. Mayday
      WTF?

      Re: What do you expect?

      “Who gets the blame”

      It’s always the driver. Regardless of what “driver aids/inhibitors/distractions are in the car. It’s the individual in charge of driving it.

      I’m taking about “blame” - maybe it’s a legal concept. Not the merit or shortcomings of in-vehicle systems. Icon for half the sci-fi shit that’s in my Mazda that I wish would STFU and leave me alone so I could actually drive the bloody car.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do you expect?

        That is exactly my problem with all the modern driver 'assist' plagues - the EU made that much, MUCH worse by mandating that that rubbish is re-enabled every time the car is restarted instead of leaving that as a decision that the driver should take - maybe by a deep dive in the car config so it's not easy to have oit off by default, buy=t I should have the option. Maybe I should start working on how to jailbreak these systems for exactly that reason.

        I have no problem with tried and tested-to-death assist systems like ABS which first had years of being hammered on race tracks and which seem to only have one fault condition (braking in snow is better with it off- and for that we stil DO have an off switch). The lane keeping and emergency braking tech is actually too new for all problems to have been eradicated, but. we. can. not. switch. it. off. because some moron in Brussels who probably either has a personal driver or cycles to work decided this would be a good idea. So, now you're automagically pulled into the path of the overhang of a wide load lorry, get a rear bumper remodelled by phantom braking or boil your brakes in hilly environments because rental cars in some countries are not allowed to have a bigger engine than 1l which has exactly zero engine braking power when going downhill.

        As an aside, all the electric driving is going to cause problems in Hollywood too. Somehow I can't picture John Wick 5 using Teslas :).

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: What do you expect?

          Lane keeping is not on by default. Not on any car I've driven.

          Lane departure warning might be. I'll check next time I drive it.

          1. Mayday
            Terminator

            Re: What do you expect?

            Lane keeping, and all sorts of other robot shit, _is_ on by default in my 2023 model Mazda. I can enter a cruise control speed, and the thing will almost drive itself along the road, including negotiating bends and braking if a car is in front. It will read a stop sign and show it on the HUD but won’t stop at one - that’s one thing it graciously allows me to manage. It doesn’t (as far as I know anyway) claim to be “self driving”. Unlike other marques.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: What do you expect?

              My wife’s 2022 Honda needs lane keeping to be switched on by a button on the steering wheel before it will self centre in the lane. Lane departure warning is on but I think I can only turn down the sensitivity. Forward emergency braking can’t be turned off, but auto cruise control (radar) can.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What do you expect?

            Lane keeping is not on by default. Not on any car I've driven.

            In 2022 Hyundai Kona it is.

            It pulls toward oncoming lorries when they are close to the marked line, which I find a little unpleasant.

            It also sometimes wants to drive off the road when there is no outside line, and it decides that some feature like flowers or a ditch, is the line.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What do you expect?

              All of these are meaningless on the road with snow.

              Anything will look like or not look like a white line and the 'assistant' has no idea and has literally driven cars into ditch/oncoming traffic because of snow (i.e. lot of white) on the road. Crashes with oncoming traffic with brand new cars have been in rise lately. No proof yet, but all of these on snowy conditions and lane assist on.

              Very much looks like an assisted suicide to use that in winter. Icing on the cake: EU regulation that it will be on everytime you start your car. Nice way to kill people.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What do you expect?

                Ah, but snow is also a major dangerous tripwite for another feature: traction control.

                God help you if you don't know how to switch it off when you're in snow because it will (a) impair your ability to round a corner (as soon as it notices slip it'll cut the engine which means the wheel that DOES have traction wil lose it too, causing you to slide straight), (b) impair your ability to slow down (in snow it's better to let snow build a little ramp in front of your wheels by NOT using ABS) and (c) utterly remove your ability to rock yourself out of a ditch once (a) has sent you there because it will cut your engine the exact moment you actually need it while rocking it, leaving you stuck.

                If you need to rent a car and anticipate snow, your checklist should include:

                - snow tyres

                - knowing where you can disable traction control

                - [if you go into mountains or expect untreated roads] snow socks or snow chains (the former are better but rare on rentals)

                If you can't tick the first two in that list, don't go.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What do you expect?

            I had a rented Hyundai Kona, and that defaulted to "on". Very annoying.

            This is another issue with all this extra guff, nowadays you can't just rent a car and drive off. You first have to spend some time working out where everything hides, and in winter that includes discovering where you can disable traction control because if you get onto snow it represents a major risk (you need the exact opposite behaviour in snow, if you take a turn and TC cuts off power you'll end up next to the road instead - been there). So you either try to get the same car, or you have to use the expertise you gained with Microsoft's ever changing UIs to find things..

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What do you expect?

              Thank you for the future-proof training Bill & Steve. We didn't even realise we were going to need it just to nip down the road for a packet of fags and some bhaji.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: What do you expect?

        Icon for half the sci-fi shit that’s in my Mazda

        My wife hates driving my Toyota because she doesn't knowwhat half of the bottons do..

        To be fair, her main ride is a 1966 Morris Minor that barely has electrics, let alone electronics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What do you expect?

          It doesn't have electrics - it has Lucas. It barely has an engine.

    2. Snowy Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What do you expect?

      While there is a steering wheel in the car you are the driver so unless you can prove the AI caused the accident the driver is to blame.

  5. Rikki Tikki
    Unhappy

    The Tesla mantra

    Don't drive in front of me, I may not stop;

    Don't drive behind me, I may brake suddenly;

    Don't drive next to, I may change lanes without warning;

    Just stay home and don't try to be my friend.

  6. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    Not just Telsa

    I had the displeasure of driving a Penske truck cross country. Newish truck with lane departure, GPS location, and a few other unsafety features. That truck was absolutely horrible to drive to the point that I stopped and disconnected everything I could related to it. If you got close to a line, it started setting off obnoxiously loud alarms which was great fun in the many narrow lane construction zones. And, at least twice the truck slammed on the brakes without warning because I drifted too close to an off ramp. Road speed limit was 65, ramp limit was 25, and I wasn't actually in the offramp lane so I figure the GPS had the wrong coordinates for where the ramp actually was.

    But the point to it all is, those safety systems made driving cross country feel like I was on the Starship Enterprise, flying through a gauntlet of Klingon ship who were constantly firing on me. And those alarms were LOUD too, and right over my ear. I've driven cross country many times, but I've never been worn out as badly as I was in a "safe" truck.

    1. usbac Silver badge

      Re: Not just Telsa

      Years ago, I worked for a company that did major AV systems for trade shows. One of my co-workers and myself headed out for a long drive to a trade-show in large rental truck. The truck was fairly new, and a very nice truck except for one problem. It had a damned speed governor set to 55 MPH. We had about a 2000 mile trip ahead of us, and the freeways had 65-70 MPH speed limits the whole way.

      Since we were setting up for a show, we had several well equipped tool boxes in the back. Needless to say, the speed governor didn't last more than about 20 minutes into the drive. Most of that time was spent waiting for a safe place to pull off with such a large truck to "work on it".

  7. steelpillow Silver badge

    Just a thought

    I do wonder about these radar systems. Back in WWII, radar antenna tended to have significant sidelobes and the return signals of some were so messy that few operators could make sense of them. Until they learned better, ground-based stations often sent out alerts for spurious interceptions because friendly planes behind the radar were causing ghost "enemy" images in front. Only one British night-fighter operator, Jimmy Rawnsley, really got the hang of it and his pilot, the famous "Cat's Eyes" Cunningham, scored almost all of the confirmed kills.

    Roll forward to the 2020s and you can't help but wonder whether the sidelobe suppression is up to scratch. Who knows, a rogue signal might even create a ghost UFO sighting in an F/A18's box of digital tricks. Tesla's cheap mass-produced transducers would be a pushover.

    On the other hand, who'd want to rule out software bugs, glitches and half-baked AI, eh, Elon?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just a thought

      Are you sure you didn't mean

      ... glitches and half-baked AI, eh, Elon

    2. Fursty Ferret

      Re: Just a thought

      >> Roll forward to the 2020s and you can't help but wonder whether the sidelobe suppression is up to scratch.

      Radar is either not fitted or not used on the vast majority of Teslas because of the difficulties integrating it with the vision system. Having said that they're now refitting a higher resolution version to their new vehicles, so who knows?

    3. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Just a thought

      "Roll forward to the 2020s and you can't help but wonder whether the sidelobe suppression is up to scratch"

      True, but you hardly need 'not up to scratch' sidelobe suppression. Unlike in the sky, there are so many arbitrary things around that will reflect radar pulses that interpreting them is likely to be absolutely mind boggling (and not AI-tolerant). Plus, once there are large numbers of these vehicles pinging away in the same road space, how is each going to recognise its own signals from everyone else's?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God Bless America

    I frequent a car forum where every single issue is a safety!!/class action!! issue with people dog piling for compo. Audio system volume fade bug: Wife might not be able to hear if she uses the SOS system!!! No spare tyre, only tyre foam kit: Wife was stranded, claiming damages for emotional distress!!!!!!! etc. etc. etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: God Bless America

      That's easy to solve: don't frequent it..

      :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: God Bless America

        Solve? Why would they want to solve anything? A place like that can a be laugh, so long as you don't stay too long and get sucked into joining in with the melodrama.

        Original AC: you never told us, are they all remembering to Think Of The Children?

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Danger, Will Robinson!

    Tesla could sample that from Lost in Space

    or

    "Danger! Danger!" in the manner of a Darlek...

    https://dalekvoice.com/

    or the dulcet tones of someone like Joanna Lumley?

    https://www.bespokevoiceagency.co.uk/joanna-lumley

    who could, in a gentle voice (to begin with) announce the imminent danger

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Danger, Will Robinson!

      Or in her "three sheets to the wind" voice.

  10. normal1

    Just why do you need a system to monitor how many collisions you have?

    "You have struck 37 cars, 4 trucks, and two vans, and landed in a doughnut; traded insurance with all affected AIs."

    Someone has been practicing with GTA

  11. Sp1z

    "phantom braking"

    I get that this is an issue that needs to be solved by Tesla, but if you're behind a vehicle and can't react in time to it emergency braking, you're too close.

    You can't see what's in front of the car in front of you. Hang back.

    1. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Re: "phantom braking"

      In such a situation, Police will consider charges if the front driver is playing "silly bugger"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "phantom braking"

      "can't react in time to it emergency braking, you're too close."

      Achh, there's a catch: Do that *without emergency* and you pay the bills, not the person you brake-checked. That's very illegal everywhere.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "phantom braking"

      can't react in time to it emergency braking, you're too close

      "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule"

      Especially true on a motorbike cos cars can stop a lot more quickly that you can and you (generally) don't have the time or control to swerve round them..

  12. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    New car?

    Are there any cars that don't do this?

    I'm not asking for a friend, I am considering buying a new car and would like one without the horror stories recounted in the article and above.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: New car?

      Just switch off the radar cruise. I’ve learned when to use it and when to not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New car?

        "Just switch off the radar cruise. I’ve learned when to use it and when to not."

        You can't. Every time you start it's on again. You see, it's not *yours* to decide if you want it or not. Just like every "safety" feature it has.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New car?

      If you are buying a new car, you can ask specific questions in writing before you buy.

      e.g.

      Can I turn off any "features" and they will stay turned off?

      Will this car operate fully without a subscription?

      Will this car work without a cellular connection?

      etc.

      Then when this does not turn out to be the case, or they turn on something, you have legal comeback on the dealer.

      In particular, if they make a feature subscription in future, or didn't tell you, they are going to have to give you the subscription.

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: New car?

      Nearly all new cars have all these driver "assistance" features as standard, which I find immensely frustrating. They're distracting at the best of times, but at worst they generate a false sense of security, by conning the driver into believing that the computer will warn them - or even save them - if bad things are going to happen. Lane-keeping assist means they don't have to pay attention to the wheel, proximity and blind-spot sensors mean they don't have to pay attention to what's around them, collision-avoidance sensors mean they don't have to pay attention to what's in front of them. You end up with a driver who spends more time staring at the enormous touchscreen than paying attention to the road ahead. It's not something that can be easily resolved with education, either, because the features are still there. It's inevitable that drivers will lapse into relying on them.

      You might be limited to the Dacia Sandero in future.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: New car?

        Nearly all new cars have all these driver "assistance" features as standard, which I find immensely frustrating

        And in good cars (like my C-HR), once you turn them off, they stay turned off (until the controller gets reset by the garage that is.).

        Lane following, lane departure warning etc etc - all turned off. Things left switched on:

        Collision warning (can be useful), auto headlights and wipers.

        I do use the adaptive cruise control (demands a different driving style from traditional CC because coming up behind a slower car *will* cause the ACC to slow you down. So you need to switch lanes before you get into radar range).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the radar gone?

    How much of this is due to Musk's decision to remove the onboard radar and to rely on optical sensors only?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/03/19/elon-musk-tesla-driving/

  14. EricB123 Bronze badge

    Is my flatuence frequency recorded too?

    So my Tesla insurance premiums could be influenced by their software problems.Has someone studied if there is a correlation between farting and driver accident frequency yet?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Is my flatuence frequency recorded too?

      The methane in it contributes to the greenhouse effect, so, ideally you should offset it, as it is being produced as part of the journey

  15. Johnb89

    Its a money maker!

    So Tesla charges extra on Tesla insurance if the Tesla software does things in the Tesla car that the owner/sucker has no say in.

    This isn't incompetence, this is Revenue Optimisation! The bonus for the person that thought of it must have been millions, or given how clever that is, a percentage of the take.

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