TN Tesla Phantom Braking Crashes Two Motorcycles, Killing One

Source: Murfreesboro Police Department Fatal Accident Crash Team

Police have reported two motorcycles just suddenly crashed into the back of a Tesla.

Police said the two motorcycles collided into the rear of a Tesla driving southbound on NW Broad Street around 5 p.m.

According to police, one of the motorcycles caught fire after the wreck.

Imagine the kind of software design flaw that would cause hard sudden deceleration on a public road able to burst a motorcycle into fire and kill the rider. It sounds like additional evidence for a problem that has been documented for many years (phantom braking), including a horribly botched recall.

Tesla quickly rolled out an over-the-air update to address the issue, yet, since that recall reports of phantom or unintended braking are higher than ever. In fact, the single highest reported cases of phantom braking analyzed by the Post occurred just one month after the recall.

Tesla has been making the world measurably worse as they dump more and more unsafe code into production, getting people killed unnecessarily.

My 2020 autopilot was flawless. My 2021 was flawless for a year or so. Now [in November 2023] I never use it because it’s too dangerous on highways for the risk of it hard braking in front of other vehicles.

Here’s a post from two days ago on Reddit, a place where Tesla owners often discuss the dangers of being allowed to operate on public roads.

@No-Platypus6603: I was in the middle lane doing 69 mph when all of a sudden it happened. I went from cruising at 69mph to less than 30 mph on the highway with not a single car even in my view.

[…] @skreetcode: Last time I was on the highway I had something similar happen.

[…] @gunot290: Happened to me last night actually

[…] @phybzu: A week a go I drove on a highway on cruise control… and my car slammed the break at 75mph. No one was close behind me, so luckily nothing happened

[…] @Tempura_Shelter: The first time it happened to me… hammered the brakes.

Again, these are all Tesla owners grousing just in the past two days about phantom braking being a very real danger to everyone around. Not an isolated or rare problem. Not a theoretical risk to life.

Some Tesla owners in the past two months warned the problem has been getting worse.

Has anyone else had more phantom braking events since these last few software updates occurred? About 3 weeks ago I went on a road trip from San Diego to Lake Havasu and phantom braking occurred probably 4 times when there was not many cars in front of me on the barren roads. The worst happened to me this past Wednesday. I was on the freeway using autosteer and phantom braking took my car from 75MPH to around 50 MPH although there was no cars near me or trying to merge unexpectedly. I’m scared to use autopilot anymore because this last one almost caused me to get rear-ended for no actual reason.

The problem with unpredictable unsafe braking is so bad, as one Reddit user put it a month ago in another thread, owners must live with an expectation their car at high speed will fail catastrophically any minute.

Tesla is the only car i have ever owned where i hover my foot over the accelerator more then the break when using any type of cruise control

Keep your eyes on the rear-view mirror the whole time and your foot over the accelerator pedal or that Tesla software you paid so much money for… proves to be the worst engineering possible, more likely than ever to kill the people behind you.

Related: A class action lawsuit after Nissan “sensors allegedly cause the forward emergency braking to malfunction”.

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