back to article No more Mr Nice DoJ: Tesla gets subpoenas over self-driving software claims

In financial filings, Tesla has admitted that it is under a serious investigation by the US Department of Justice over the efficacy of its self-driving code, among many other things. The 10-Q regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission says that, in addition to investigations by the National Highway Traffic …

  1. aerogems Silver badge
    Windows

    At any normal company

    Someone like Twitler would have been out on their ass years ago. The amount of trouble he attracts, most of which is completely avoidable, is just insane. And how much time can he possibly be spending on the day-to-day operations of Tesla when he's clearly spending most of his days shitposting on Twitter? Then whatever time he isn't promoting Tesla has the successor to Mercedes-Benz as the official car for Nazis (thank you John Oliver and staff), he's probably spending at SpaceX. Granted the less he has to do with the day to day at Tesla probably the better, but still. He seems to spend precious little time dealing with anything Tesla.

    1. seldom

      Re: At any normal company

      Maybe he owns his company, try it sometime. ;-)

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: At any normal company

        He owns something like 20% of Tesla's shares. That's a lot, but far from 100%. When acting as its CEO he has a fiduciary duty to the other stockholders to manage it in the best interest of shareholders as a whole, not in his own personal best interest.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: At any normal company

          Actually, he doesn't. The whole fiduciary duty thing is a myth, but it still doesn't mean that the shareholders couldn't force a vote of no confidence or something and push him out. Also, Twitler is massively overleveraged. He even took the ridiculously stupid and risky move of using some of his Tesla shares as a guarantee on a loan to buy more Tesla shares. He's one decent sized margin call from being about as wealthy as a homeless person.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: At any normal company

            The fiduciary duty thing is NOT a myth, where in the world did you get that idea?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: At any normal company

              Fiduciary duty isn't a myth, that's true. On the other hand, many people seem to think fiduciary duty is to raise the share price and profits as much as possible at the expense of everything else, which clearly isn't true. Fiduciary duty is about running the company responsibly, keeping an eye share price and profits in both the short and long terms, ie taking a hit now means the company survives into to the future instead of going for broke with "instant" profits at the expense of the company folding next year. It's a more complex duty that most people usually consider.

      2. aerogems Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: At any normal company

        Ohhhh,.... Aren't we just the little edgelord in training! Keep at it, and maybe one day you'll get to wear the big boy pants!

      3. My-Handle

        Re: At any normal company

        I have.

        It turns out you're actually supposed to be held accountable for rather a lot. And you are held accountable, at least when you own a company at the small end of the scale.

        If what you actually mean is "maybe he's filthy rich, try it sometime", I'd love to give it a go. I'm not certain, but I'm fairly sure I could comport myself in a more civil and beneficial manner.

        1. Thicko

          Re: At any normal company

          "....but I'm fairly sure I could comport myself in a more civil and beneficial manner.". I'm sure nobody doubts that!

  2. nautica Silver badge
    Happy

    Musk, the Trump doppelganger, knows what to do.

    So, all Musk need do is chalk this stuff up to "...Deranged Jack Smith and the Biden ‘Political Opponent Abuser’ DOJ, "

    Works every time.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Musk, the Trump doppelganger, knows what to do.

      Hey, The Donald isn't all bad. Just think of all the lawyers and similar riffraff he has put in jail. (I think the current count is eleven or so with more being added every day) True, they were (mis)representing/(mis)advising/working for him. But still, it's a public service and he deserves some credit for it.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Musk, the Trump doppelganger, knows what to do.

        Oh, so that's what "drain the swamp" meant!

        Personally, I value the work done by good lawyers, but it's certainly true that we could do with a whole lot fewer Sydney Powells and Ken Chesebros and the like.

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Not saying Tesla's auto drive does not work.

    However, a tweet tends to send their owner off the rails on occasion.

    1. nautica Silver badge
      Happy

      ...simply look at all the down-votes here, already. I didn't think there were so many deranged non-critical-thinking asshole followers of a deranged, non-critical-thinking asshole. Oh, wait...approximately fifty percent of the US's Trump-loving population in this category. And probably the world, for that matter. Conclusion? The average person loves a sociopath...

      What George Carlin said is really true:

      "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

      and

      "Think about how stupid the average person is. Now consider that half the population is more stupid than that."

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        It is hard to beat George Carlin in directness. Bless him, whatever blessing he wants but obviously not any god.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Is Joe Pesci still alive? If so, get him to bless Carlin.

      2. aerogems Silver badge

        As a Carlin fan, I have to make a minor correction.

        It's “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” You got the essence of it right, which is the important part, but his version is pithier.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Of course, as with all these "half are less than average" popular witticisms, this is only true if by average you mean "median", or the distribution is suitably shaped. (Also if "stupid" isn't a single-dimensional real variable things get more complicated.)

          1. nautica Silver badge
            Boffin

            Lies, damned lies, and statistics...

            "...this is only true if..."

            Your point is well taken, and comes up extremely often when talking about "...the average..." (except that "average" is the commonly accepted term for 'Mean").

            When the 'population' (set of all data points being considered) is very large (one has to assume George Carlin was referring to everyone in the world, ie, 7-8 billion people), and a Normal Distribution (Gaussian; and not a bad assumption in this case) can be assumed, the Mean ("average"), Median, and Mode all tend to converge to the same value.

  4. t245t
    Black Helicopters

    This is the consequences of not giving a kick-back to the Big Guy

    Get with the program Elon. This is the consequences of not giving a kick-back to the Big Guy

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: This is the consequences of not giving a kick-back to the Big Guy

      Every accusation is a confession ...

  5. Erik Beall

    Risk calculation

    I'm most definitely not defending musk, I just had to point out that the California DMV investigations note that 70% of e-vehicle accidents involve Tesla, and while Tesla now has 50% (and declining) market share, I would bet the current total accumulated miles driven by Teslas are still higher than 50% and the rate might even be favorable to Tesla in this case. Of course, the rate of accidents effectively caused by fraudulent claims of FSD is definitely not favorable to Tesla!

    1. Andrew Hodgkinson

      Re: Risk calculation

      That's true and I thought the same thing, but I don't think it's relevant to the investigation (I'm pretty sure journalists are just ad-libbing those kinda stats for sensationalism). The investigation is, I think, not about whether Tesla's self-named "Full Self Driving" [*] - which is not full self-driving - package is better or worse than driver assistance packages from other companies, they're investigating whether not Tesla's portrayal of its technology has been misleading to customers.

      I mean, obviously, it's a total mystery. I can't imagine why they'd think something called Full Self-Driving that isn't full self-driving could be misleading... This court case is going to require some true big-brain thinking.

      [*] Autopilot marketing and claims might be investigated rather than, or in addition to, FSD claims. I'm not sure. Autopilot would be harder to prove IMHO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk calculation

        "Autopilot" is made of the word "pilot", meaning the one guiding the vehicle, and the prefix "auto-" meaning it does it itself. If the vehicle is not capable of piloting itself without supervision, it's not an autopilot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Risk calculation

          It can pilot itself without supervision, then realizes that it is a Tesla, so its father is Elon Musk, and immediately smash into the nearest wall out of shame...

  6. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Trollface

    The wisdom of the Internet

    A comment I recently read was something to the effect of:

    If you find yourself lost while trail hiking, don't panic. Just say, as loudly as you can, "Elon Musk isn't that intelligent!" Within second, several of the most unfuckable men on the planet will appear out of nowhere to call you poor. You can then follow them back to the parking lot and the burning wreckage of their Teslas.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The wisdom of the Internet

      What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move with no hope of rescue.

      Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far.

      Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which, given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that Elon Musk won’t be troubling you much longer.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: The wisdom of the Internet

      Oh lordy, that “lost” comment deserves one of these —>

      LOL

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The wisdom of the Internet

      Within second, several of the most unfuckable men on the planet will appear out of nowhere to call you poor.

      I thought you were busy on Tuesdays?

  7. Grunchy Silver badge

    Elon Musk was hanging around the Mercedes garage in Austin yesterday, which attracted attention of scrutineers, BAM Lewis Hamilton instantly disqualified.

    Coincidence?

    There are no coincidence.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got an idea

    If the vision system gets confused and doesn't recognise obstructions, how about supplementing it with, say, radar?

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: I've got an idea

      As I understand it, the competitors like Waymo and Cruise which seem to have decent safety records (although both apparently do weird and annoying, non-lethal things at times) use a much broader and much more expensive array of sensors than Tesla. Including Lidar. Lidar is basically radar at optical wavelengths. Tesla seems to be betting on computers someday being able to figure out their environment from very limited sensory visual input. Just as humans do. Given Tesla's history of running into large stationary objects, the company's system would seem to have a way to go. But Elon continues to promise that any day now, they'll get it right.

    2. nautica Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I've got an idea

      "If the vision system gets confused and doesn't recognise obstructions, how about supplementing replacing it with, say, radar?"

      Or, something (approaching) infinitely more reliable, and (approaching) infinitely less deadly: a Toyota Camry?

    3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I've got an idea

      EM is more likely to add missiles to clear obstructions...

  9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    No "wrongdoing"?

    To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred."

    Well, duh! It's pretty rare for an "ongoing investigation" to have any conclusions. Even if some conclusions, tentative or otherwise have been reached, it's just as rare for them to be made public before the rest of the investigation is concluded, even to the subject of the investigation. And yes, I know, I'm aware of and fully support "innocent unless proven guilty", but Teslas statement seems to be attempting to put over the impression they have not done anything wrong and clearly are innocent since no one has said they have. Yet.

    And what's with "wrongdoing"? No one cares id someone or a company does something "wrong". They care if it's illegal. "Wrongdoing" is PR speak for "breaking the law, but pretending we didn't"

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