Ralph Nader Calls for NHTSA to Remove Tesla Full Self-Driving

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【Summary】The former Presidential candidate and consumer protection advocate called on federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remove Tesla’s Full-Self Driving system from the automaker’s electric cars.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 21, 2022 8:15 AM PT
Ralph Nader Calls for NHTSA to Remove Tesla Full Self-Driving

Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving feature have been in the news extensively because of fatal accidents and videos showcasing how drivers can abuse the systems. It's no secret that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating Tesla and the automaker's Autopilot system after a large number of the automaker's vehicles were involved in fatal accidents. Now, Ralph Nader, a recognized consumer protection advocate and a former presidential candidate, is calling on federal regulators to remove Full Self-Driving from Tesla's cars. 

Tesla's Systems Aren't Safe

In a statement, Nader called for federal regulators to use their authority through the NHTSA to remove Autopilot from Teslas. "I am calling on federal regulators to act immediate to prevent the growing deaths and injuries from Tesla manslaughtering crashes with this technology," said Nader in a statement. "NHTSA must use its safety recall authority to order that the FSD technology be removed in every Tesla." 

Nader explains his stance, calling Tesla's Full Self-Driving technology one of the most dangerous systems available in a modern automobile. "Tesla's major deployment of so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades," said Nader. "Tesla should never have put this technology in its vehicles. Now over 100,000 Tesla owners are currently using technology that research shows malfunctions every eight minutes." 

More People Are Calling For Changes

Tesla's Full Self-Driving system is considered a Level 2 driver-assist system and has been shrouded in controversy since it was introduced. Despite its name, which could lead some consumers to think that the system is capable of driving without any human intervention, that's far from the true. Additionally, Tesla is pushing out more semi-autonomous features in "beta" form where the automaker gathers data from drivers. With the features being in beta, they're nowhere near polished enough to be used on the road, though that hardly stops owners from using the features. 

The NHTSA compiles a list of crashes involving advanced driver-assist systems. Based on information it compiled from July 26, 2022, the NHTSA has 48 crashes on its Special Crash Investigations list. Tesla's vehicles dominate the list with 39 crashes, all of which occurred when Autopilot was engaged. In total, 19 people were killed in those accidents. 

Nader is just one of many voices that been critical of Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems. Recently, California's DMV accused Tesla of falsely advertising the capability of its driver-assist systems. The state's DMV claims that the automaker made "untrue or misleading" claims about its cars' semi-autonomous capabilities. While the DMV can stop Tesla from producing and selling its vehicles in the state, the NHTSA could issue a recall to force Tesla to remove the feature for its cars. 

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