Currently reading: Tesla crash claims debunked by data
Tracked telematics data in a Tesla Model X has caught out an owner trying to blame the Autopilot system for user error

A Tesla Model X crash in the US, blamed by the owner on a faulty Autopilot system, has been debunked using telematics data logged by the vehicle.

The Model X sports a semi-autonomous feature, Autopilot, that allows the car to accelerate, brake and steer on its own, using sensors to monitor the road ahead. When his vehicle crashed into a building in Irvine, California, owner Puzant Ozbag claimed on a Tesla forum that the car accelerated on its own as his wife was trying to park it. He said that the car’s Autopilot system must have been involved.

But an investigation by Tesla has suggested that the car was in fully manual mode when the accident happened.

In a statement, Tesla said: “Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100 percent … Consistent with the driver’s actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed.” 

Tesla is relatively unusual in the amount of data it collects from its cars, but the practice is likely to increase among manufacturers, especially as autonomous driving becomes more popular. With vehicle connectivity increasing all the time, car makers are keen to get as much data as possible, both for the development of autonomous systems and for other opportunities, such as insurance deals that offer discounts for proven safe driving.

The company recently announced that it will charge Model 3 owners for use of its Superchargers, which are free for owners of the more expensive Model S and Model X cars.

Phill Tromans

Read Autocar's Tesla Model X review



Read our review

Car review

Tesla's X takes aim at the seven-seat SUV market with extreme performance - and a price to match

Join the debate

Add a comment…
ahaus 13 June 2016

A digital black box for cars would be a brilliant idea

Having black boxes on cars to track data before and during an accident is an excellent idea.
It would show who is really at fault of any accident and hopefully reduce insurance/court costs.
Margy 12 June 2016

Fortune: Tesla Drivers Claim Autopilot Caused Crashes

Without any arguments, there still remains the possibility of a conspiracy theory. --- Early X Adopter growing weary - forums teslamotors - Submitted by Shelmire on April 14, 2016 --- My car has been back into the shop twice, and the bugs are still everywhere. P door does not open, D door opens to different positions, no parking feature, sometimes doors wont close unless you force it and when you close it sounds like metal to metal. I could go on and on.
fadyady 12 June 2016

De ja vu

Tesla faced a vicious attack by the part of the American media that probably supports the fossil fuel lobby after the launch of the Model S and proved it wrong with their on-board data recording system. Nissan on the other hand could not do so when under a similar attack by a certain faction of the UK media. Now comes this soon after the launch of the Model X and once again Tesla is all prepared.