Elon’s SSN inside — Huge Tesla leak reveals thousands of safety concerns, privacy problems A Tesla employee gave more than 100GB of data to Germany’s Handelsblatt.
Jonathan M. Gitlin – May 26, 2023 1:39 pm UTC EnlargeIan Forsyth/Getty Images reader comments 91 with
The German publication Handelsblatt is in possession of more than 23,000 internal files and documents from Tesla after an employee leaked the data. The files include personal information on more than 100,000 current and former employees, as well as thousands of reports of problems with Tesla’s advanced driving assistance systems, Autopilot, and “Full Self-Driving.”
The earliest complaints in the data trove date back to 2015, and the most recent to March 2022. Most of the complaints arise from the US, although European and Asian customer problems are also reflected in the data.
More than 2,400 complaints allege sudden unintended acceleration problems. Although Autopilot and FSD have been the focus of headlines for the last few years, during the mid-2010s there were plenty of reports of Teslas taking off on their own accordat least 232 cases have been reported in the US, although (as often turns out in cases like these) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no evidence for a hardware or software problem, instead blaming driver error.
More than 1,500 complaints allege problems braking, including 139 cases of phantom braking and 383 cases of phantom stops. In February 2022, we learned that NHTSA had opened a safety investigation into Tesla’s phantom braking problem after it received hundreds of complaints after an article in The Washington Post drew attention to the issue. But the problem has persisted, causing an eight-car collision over Thanksgiving after Tesla opened up its FSD Beta program to all owners.
Handelsblatt says there were more than 1,000 crashes linked to brake problems and more than 3,000 entries where customers reported safety concerns with the driver assists.
The German publication even went to the trouble of contacting Tesla owners to confirm the data was correct. A doctor from California, for example, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Handelsblatt about an incident from autumn 2021. She was about to turn in a parking lot when her Tesla suddenly accelerated like a racing car. “I tried to steer but crashed into a cement bollard,” the customer recalls.? “He fell over, but the car didn’t stop. I drove into the nearest bollard. The airbag went off and I was stunned.”
Between January and October 2021, the Swiss Thomas Karl complained to Tesla about a dozen incorrect braking attempts with his vehicle. Karl was a regular customer, had been for ten years. But his new Model S made him nervous, as email correspondence with Tesla makes clear.
“Hello gentlemen, believe me that I’m starting to lose my nerve?” Karl wrote on July 26, 2021 about another incident. His Tesla had an accident on the Swiss A3 between Flums and Sargans “after being overhauled vehicle made an emergency stop that scared and worried”.
According to Manfred Schon, he experienced something similar on the M14 highway. The former? Bosch employee was on his way to a meeting in the US state of Michigan on June 1, 2019 when his Tesla “suddenly slammed on the brakes, as hard as you can imagine,” Schon told the Handelsblatt. “I was pushed into the seat belt and the car almost came to a stop. Then another car hit me from behind.”
The Tesla files contain similar cases in Germany. One customer complained that his Tesla had “driven into a median barrier on the freeway”. The reason was the autopilot’s emergency braking. Another reported to customer service about his Model S: “Drives into oncoming traffic.”
Beyond the customer complaints, the data leak also shows how Tesla responded to these problemsby committing to as little as possible in writing. Advertisement For each incident there are key points for the “technical review”. The employees who enter this review into the system regularly make it clear that the report is intended for “internal use only”. Each entry also contains the note in bold type that information, if at all, may only be passed on “VERBALLY to the customer”.
“Do not copy the report below into an email, text message or leave it in a voicemail to the customer,” it continues. Vehicle data should also not be released without permission. If, despite the advice, “a legal involvement cannot be prevented”, this must be recorded.
Customers that Handelsblatt spoke to have the impression that Tesla employees avoid written communication. “They never sent emails, everything was always oral,” says the doctor from California, whose Tesla said it accelerated on its own in the fall of 2021 and crashed into two concrete pillars.
As anyone who covers Tesla would be able to tell you, Handelsblatt got no reply from the company when it queried it on the problems listed above. However, the automaker did demand its data back, according to an accompanying note from Handelsblatt’s editor. reader comments 91 with Jonathan M. Gitlin Jonathan is the Automotive Editor at Ars Technica. He has a BSc and PhD in Pharmacology. In 2014 he decided to indulge his lifelong passion for the car by leaving the National Human Genome Research Institute and launching Ars Technica’s automotive coverage. He lives in Washington, DC. Advertisement Promoted Comments Baumi His Tesla had an accident on the Swiss A3 between Flums and Sargans "after being overhauled vehicle made an emergency stop that scared and worried".For the record, this might be a slight mistranslation. Assuming the original correspondence was in German, the German word berholen can mean both to overhaul and to overtake. The latter seems slightly more plausible to me here. May 26, 2023 at 2:11 pm Channel Ars Technica ← Previous story Next story → Related Stories Today on Ars
Binance lawyers allege SEC Chair Gensler offered to serve as advisor to crypto company in 2019
SEC Chair Gary Gensler mocks putting a gun to his head in response to a “Blazing Saddles” reference by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., during the House Financial Services Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission,” in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who is in the midst of a hefty crackdown on crypto companies, offered to serve as an advisor to Binance’s parent company in 2019, according to the lawyers for Binance and founder Changpeng Zhao.
Documents filed by the SEC on Wednesday indicate that attorneys from Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins, two of Binance’s law firms, allege that Gensler offered to serve as an advisor to the crypto exchange in several March 2019 conversations with Binance executives and Zhao. He eventually met Zhao in Japan for lunch later that month, the filing claims.
At the time, Gensler was teaching at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He was appointed head of the SEC in 2021 by President Biden, and over the past year has come down hard on the crypto industry, suing numerous companies for allegedly selling unregistered securities.
Earlier this week, the SEC filed 13 charges against Binance and Zhao, alleging the company failed to register as an exchange and broker-dealer, improperly commingled funds and lacked critical internal controls over its businesses.
Before Gensler started going after Binance, he was trying to cozy up to the company, the lawyers say. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on Gensler and Binance’s relationship, citing internal Binance messages and a person close to the SEC chair. Both suggested that Binance approached Gensler.
In the latest filing, the Gibson and Latham attorneys say that Zhao continued to stay in touch with Gensler after the March meeting. And at the future SEC chair’s request, Zhao sat down for an interview with Gensler as part of a cryptocurrency course he was teaching at MIT.
The SEC on Tuesday described Zhao, who reportedly resides in the UAE, as a “foreign national” with a tendency for “geographic elusiveness.” Zhao’s lawyers now say that the Zhao understood that Gensler was “comfortable serving as an informal advisor.”
Later in 2019, the letter said, Gensler was slated to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, and he sent Zhao a copy of his intended testimony ahead of the hearing.
In July of that year, Gensler testified before the House over Facebook’s proposed and later canceled cryptocurrency Libra and its planned Calibra wallet.
“I do not advise any financial, technology, blockchain or other companies, nor do I own any cryptocurrencies,” Gensler’s prepared testimony read.
Gensler’s advice to lawmakers at the time was largely the same as his public statements today. He said that, with Facebook envisioning a wallet to store customer assets, rules needed to be in place “to guard against Calibra’s use or potential abuse of such customer funds.”
He also testified more broadly in language that’s resembles his latest pronouncements.
“We must guard against illicit activities, such as tax evasion, money laundering, terrorist financing and avoiding sanctions,” he said at the time. “We must protect individuals’ privacy.”
Because of Gensler’s ties to Zhao, Binance’s lawyers said they’d asked for his recusal from any actions regarding the company. They say they got no acknowledgement from SEC staff.
An SEC spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC that, “the Chair is very familiar with and full compliance with his ethical obligations including any recusal obligations.”
The SEC’s probes into Binance.US and Binance began in 2020 and 2021, respectively, well after Gensler and Zhao’s last alleged contact.
NIO sets YTD order intake record after new ES6 launch in May
NIO’s new ES6 already looks to be a key factor as the EV maker looks to expand its brand and compete in the booming Chinese electric vehicle market. According to Morgan Stanley, NIO hit a new year-to-date order intake record aided by the launch of the second-generation ES6.
After launching what many consider its most important model to date two weeks ago with its second-gen ES6 electric SUV, NIO has seen increased interest in the brand.
Although NIO was the only major EV maker in China to see a monthly sales decline in May, delivering 6,155 models (down 8% from April), the company has a plan to turn things around… and it already looks to be paying off.
Although the ES6 has been the company’s top seller since launching in 2018 as a more affordable option to the ES8, NIO knew it was time for an upgrade.
The EV maker is focusing on its NT 2.0 EV platform vehicles, including the recently launched EC7, second-generation ES8, ET5, and ES7 models. All NT 2.0 models are built on the NIO Adam supercomputer using four Nvidia DRIVE Orin system-on-chips (SoCs).
New ES6 boosts NIO’s order intake to record YTD high
A research report released last week from the Chinese consumer behavior research agency CarFans highlighted consumer behavior in NIO stores within the first 72 hours of launching (May 24 to May 27) the new ES6.
The report found each NIO store received 90 pre-orders on average, with around 20 confirmations that included a down payment.
With roughly 330 stores, that’s around 29,700 pre-orders or 6,600 confirmations. For just three days, that’s pretty impressive for a premium SUV.
Although the cancellation rate is expected to be around 10%, the new ES6 is already leading to a new order intake record for the year, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Tim Hsiao (via CnEVPost).
In a research note on June 5, Hsiao said the firm had been tracking feedback from startups’ major sales channels in Tier 1 cities since last year to analyze the market. The team shared data that confirmed the new ES6 accounted for 35% to 40% of new orders in May, suggesting a meaningful impact on inflow as it launched in the final week of the month.
NIO’s overall traffic at flagship stores rose 30% to 40% month-over-month, with momentum continuing into early June. The new ES6 is NIO’s cheapest electric SUV, starting at RMB 368,000 ($51,614).
Meanwhile, the team said that despite customer traffic at the stores it tracks returning to levels seen this February, they are still “20% below last September’s level when the company rolled out ET5.”
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Vineyard Wind 1’s first turbine blades arrive in the US
The first turbine blades for Vineyard Wind 1, the US’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, have arrived at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in Massachusetts.
The $3.5 billion offshore wind farm will feature 62 GE Haliade-X 13-megawatt (MW) turbines spaced one nautical mile apart. The first turbine blades – each one 107 meters (351 feet) long – arrived at the Port of New Bedford (pictured above) from GE’s production site in Nazaire, France, on the heavy load vessel Rolldock Sky. (And no, it’s not lost on us, either, that wind turbine blades arrived on a fossil fuel vessel. May we collectively resolve that ironic problem ASAP.)
The turbine sections will be assembled at the terminal before they’re shipped out and installed this summer.
The 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 is 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts. It’s a 50-50 joint venture between clean energy company Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) funds CI II and CI III.
Vineyard Wind I will supply clean energy for over 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts and reduce carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year. It’s expected to come online at the end of 2023.
Read more: This US offshore wind farm is piloting a bubble curtain – what it is and why it’s cool
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