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jca2's avatar

Tesla recalls nearly every vehicle made in the US. Does it make you wonder?

Asked by jca2 (16369points) December 14th, 2023

Tesla is recalling nearly every vehicle sold in the US – nearly two million. Does it bring the car and Musk down a notch or two, in your mind?

I ask because I know Tesla lovers and lovers of technology seem to idolize Musk as a genius visionary, which he may be, but apparently not totally detail oriented if they’re doing such a big recall.

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22 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes. Eventually self driving cars will need to make life or death decisions.

For example if your having an accident with running over one verses five people; What does the car decide?

Forever_Free's avatar

Not in the least. Your computer and phones get updates daily/weekly

LadyMarissa's avatar

Doesn’t change my mind in the least. I’ve NEVER been a fan of Musk & he’s doing nothing to change my perspective. @Forever_Free has a good point except that ALL the recalled cars have already had their daily/weekly updates & they are still being recalled. Now I’m wondering what they are NOT telling us after charging us over $60K to have a piece of crap!!!

I doesn’t matter how detail oriented he is, he runs the company & he pays a flunky to do the detailed work.

JLeslie's avatar

I hadn’t heard about this so I googled and found this article.

I am very reluctant about the idea of self driving cars. The son of a friend of mine works on it for one of the big three, I think GM. He thinks any worry is ridiculous and that it is great and so much better than human beings.

Quite possibly the Tesla technology has saved many lives or at minimum prevented multiple accidents, but the accidents that have happened while the autopilot is engaged the public doesn’t have patience for.

My Lexus will brake hard on it’s own if I get too close to something while backing up. I don’t have a self driving autopilot where the car controls the wheel though.

I guess it doesn’t change my mind about Tesla. I wasn’t in love with Tesla to begin with, I don’t agree with laws to practically make all electric cars mandatory. Also, other car manufacturers are pursuing self driving.

Is your perception that Tesla released the technology before it was really ready?

elbanditoroso's avatar

To be clear, there is nothing wrong mechanically with Teslas – which is the reason that most other car manufacturers do recalls.

This is a software recall. Which is quite different.

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s a software update that restricts where autopilot can be used because people were abusing it, is my understanding. Autopilot has saved my ass multiple times. Autopilot saves lives.

smudges's avatar

How would you like to have your PC, iPad, phone, iPod, Mac, etc taken away every time there’s an update?

Forever_Free's avatar

@LadyMarissa An update like this one requires more than just a software push. I did not mean to belittle the effort here. It is one more out of liability to Tesla. Stock slid after announcement.
This comes after 2 years of investigating by the NTSB for the AutoPilot issues where many people have died or been injured.
Safety experts said that, while the recall is a good step, it still makes the driver responsible and doesn’t fix the underlying problem that Tesla’s automated systems have with spotting and stopping for obstacles in their path.
This software update will limit where Autosteer can be used. If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alert the driver it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts, and Autosteer will not engage,
It is my belief that it still should not be used in most conditions. Some people still think they can get in the back seat as driver.

Forever_Free's avatar

@gorillapaws Surveys have shown that 13% of Tesla drivers stated that AutoPilot PUT them in dangerous situations. Some even stated it contributed to a collision. Of the drivers who stated it helped them with issues more than likely were not paying attention as they should.
Driving a car is not a right, it is a privilege and one that requires skill. IMHO Autopilot enables bad behavior and driving ability.
Just drive the dang car. Technology like this is not ready for high speed situations. It’s an Elon pipe dream not worth my life.

Entropy's avatar

I think fully self-driving cars are a thing that’s coming, but I fell for the ‘how soon’ propaganda before. They’re quite good in good weather and normal conditions, they’re just much less likely to react well when something unexpected happens.

A recall doesn’t hamper my belief that this is a technology we’ll get right someday…and probably someday soon. But I’m not predicting specific timeframes anymore. The standard shouldn’t be perfection for when we start adopting these things…it’s when the AI is better on average the a human driver. It will get things wrong a human won’t…but it will also get things right that humans often don’t. It’s only in the aggregate that we’ll be able to judge.

This doesn’t affect my opinion of Tesla or Musk either. I think Musk is an oddball at best, and an arrogant blowhard at times. He’s been a pretty good tech entrepreneur, but I think he’s at best a mediocre businessman. I think Tesla still operates like a tech start-up, and less like a full-scale auto manufacturer. Someday, Tesla’s going to have to make that transition because the free govt money isn’t going to last forever. I don’t hate or love Musk.

gorillapaws's avatar

A few counterpoints from someone who has driven tens of thousands of miles with Autopilot. It’s excellent, but imperfect. When used as intended, it makes you a better driver because you’re working as a team. It’s better at reacting to things than you are and milliseconds matter when it comes to avoiding crashes, but it’s not as intelligent about anticipating problems like a person would be. People have misused it. They should be punished. Overall though, I expect accidents to increase on a per-mile basis after this decision. More people will die because people hate Elon.

@Entropy “Tesla’s going to have to make that transition because the free govt money isn’t going to last forever. I don’t hate or love Musk.”

What free government money? You mean the subsidies paid to consumers? Or the Federal loan that Tesla repaid early? You are aware that the oil industry receives trillions of dollars annually in subsidies across the globe, right?

Forever_Free's avatar

I understand the team concept and adding to your capability.
Yet this is not much different than the concept of turning your cruise control off in certain situations like weather, traffic, terrain. The technology is going to out drive your innate capability and PUT you into situations that you have to compensate for. Not the other way around.
That is when you get into trouble. There are enough cases that substantiate the troubles and forced a recall like this.

Zaku's avatar

1) Isn’t this a software recall? Tesla updates its software constantly. It’s not like they need to bring all the cars in and mechanically alter them. But it IS like they need to change the software because the government told them there were serious problems.

2) ”Does it bring the car and Musk down a notch or two, in your mind?”
– Well, Musk could not get much lower in my estimation, so a couple more notches doesn’t do much to my estimation.
– In fact, I actually really like how Teslas perform (when driven by a good human driver), and of the several EVs I test-drove, I actually liked the way the Tesla drove, the most. But I and most people I know despise Musk, and that overrode any chance of wanting to buy one.

3) As for the self-driving features that this is update is about . . . I don’t want those, and have been saying for many years that these sorts of problems are serious, and reasons to be very cautious about adopting and using such.
(I do, however, like the features of my EV where I can just set it to beep at me when there seems to be an obstacle or incoming car when thinking about changing lanes or backing up in parking lots. But I turn off the features that would have the computer actually provide input to the vehicle controls.)

Lightlyseared's avatar

You’ll notice other manufacturers aren’t having this problem.

.Possibly because they a) didn’t give the feature a stupid name that implies abilities beyond what it is capable of and b) was better designed to make sure it wasn’t abused in the first place.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Lightlyseared or there aren’t enough of them out on the road to even be noticed.

Around here, I see a ton of Teslas, a handful of Toyota Priuses (fewer every day), and a dribble of Rivians.

Other EV makers are too few to count.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@elbanditoroso I’m sorry I’m confused. I thought this was a discussion of Teslas autopilot self driving tech mode not that its an EV.

GM’s Super Cruise is available (or at least was that last time I was in the US) in non-EV vehicles and is easily superior to Tesla’s autopilot.

The majority of Toyota Priuses are not EV’s, they are mild hybrids. In 2023⅓ of car sales in the US were EV or PHEV. There are more EV’s on the road that aren’t Teslas they just look like normal cars.

smudges's avatar

^^ Sorry, but what the hell is a “mild hybrid”? It either is or isn’t.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@smudges A plug in hybrid (PHEV) is a vehicle that can run only on electrical power like an EV but also has a combustion engine and will switch betwreen the two. A mild hybrid has electric motors to assist the engien and can regenerate energy but can’t operate without the internal combustion engine. Revolutionary 20 year ago but now a days I’d avoid. They have all the drawback and none of the benfeits.

KRD's avatar

I don’t like electric cars but this does bring some questions to my mind.

RocketGuy's avatar

A full hybrid can use either electric motor or engine. Those will get you much better MPG than straight gas engine. That’s what Prius have been for a long time. I had a 2006 version, which got 42 MPG. The Integra it replaced got only 25.

A mild hybrid uses the electric motor to just add power to the always running gas engine. Kind of like a turbocharger but works well at low RPM. Honda and GM had those. It was cheaper for them to implement but the MPG gain was minimal.

smudges's avatar

Thanks @RocketGuy. Sorry @Lightlyseared, I didn’t quite get your description. I didn’t know that’s what a Prius was, cool! I have a hybrid Camry. The first time I went to the store while driving it, I was in the store probably 25–30 minutes. I came out and tried to start the car, but something wasn’t working right. Turns out it was so quiet I hadn’t turned it off!

gorillapaws's avatar

@Lightlyseared “You’ll notice other manufacturers aren’t having this problem.

.Possibly because they a) didn’t give the feature a stupid name that implies abilities beyond what it is capable of and b) was better designed to make sure it wasn’t abused in the first place.”

I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in an airplane with autopilot, but as someone who has, I can assure you that if I saw both the pilot and the co-pilot walking out of the cockpit mid-flight and them saying “don’t worry folks, we’ve got autopilot engaged” that everyone on the flight wouldn’t be completely freaked out. Implicit in the name “Autopilot” is the idea that there’s still a human behind the controls, actively supervising the computer at all times and ready to override if necessary.

As for designing it to prevent abuse, it’s already obnoxious. It nags you often to “check in.” The thing is, people who are crazy enough to risk their own and everyone else’s lives to bypass the safeguards will always find a way. All this decision is going to do is make honest people use the feature less often, and that means more accidents and deaths.

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