Shareholders Su Tesla on ‘Misleading’ FSD Safety Claims

picture: Tesla

Tesla shareholders are suddenly clutching their pearls, Tesla price cuts don’t work like they used to in China anymore, and in related news, Audi sees no value in following Tesla into the EV price war. All that and more in the Tesla Tuesday edition of Tesla morning shift On February 28, 2023.

First gear: It was only a matter of time

last week, Tesla has recalled every one of its cars equipped with the “Full Self-Driving” beta program. that are granted Level 2 autonomy At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall covers 362,758 vehicles in total, and NHTSA said it was forced to issue it based on a variety of safety concerns, noting that the FSD program may direct vehicles equipped to “travel directly through an intersection while in a turning lane only enter an intersection with stop signs without stopping.” in full, or driving through an intersection under a yellow traffic light without being careful.” Oh, also, it can lead to cars ignoring posted speed limits, too.

That’s not Tesla’s best look, of course, though it’s not like the recall that rendered every FSD-equipped car inoperable; The EV maker is only required to release an over-the-air update to fix these issues “in the coming weeks,” and once that happens, everything should be fine. However, Tesla investors certainly are angry Through these developments they express their dissatisfaction in the form of a class action lawsuit, per Reuters:

In a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, the shareholders said Tesla defrauded them over a four-year period with false and misleading statements that concealed how its technologies, suspected of being a possible cause of multiple fatal crashes, “created a grave risk of accidents and injuries.”

They said Tesla’s share price fell several times when the truth became known, including after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the technologies, and reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Musk’s autopilot claims.

The share price also fell 5.7% on Feb. 16 after NHTSA was forced to recall more than 362,000 Tesla cars equipped with a fully self-driving pilot program because they could be unsafe around intersections.

Tesla said it agreed to the subpoena, although it did not agree with NHTSA’s analysis.

“As a result of the defendants’ wrongful actions and negligence, and the sharp decline in the market value of the company’s common stock, the plaintiff and other members of the class suffered significant losses and damages,” the complaint reads.

Look, these shareholders – arguably Tesla’s biggest boosters – have been totally duped. Fleece over the eyes, thrown into a scalloped loop. victims of the highest order. They had absolutely no idea what they were getting into, owning stock in a company that was under government investigation over its semi-autonomous driving program. At least a year and a half. They must not have seen the countless social media videos of the FSD fails at things human drivers don’t It dates back much earlier, too.

The dismissal is seeking unspecified damages from February 19, 2019, to February 17, 2023 — a time during which the company’s stock jumped from about $21 to $207. Sure, it’s come down a lot since its peak of $407 in November 2021, but it’s not like things haven’t headed significantly higher for Tesla and its riders over the past four years. Our thoughts and prayers.

Second gear: Meanwhile, in China

Deep Tesla price cuts in the People’s Republic dating back to the first week of 2023 seem to have boosted sales a bit, but they seem to have run out of steam, according to another report from Reuters:

The U.S. automaker nearly doubled its weekly retail sales in the week of Feb. 20 to 10,703 vehicles versus the week before, according to data from China Merchants Bank International (CMBI) on Tuesday, which tracks weekly retail sales based on auto insurance filings.

That number was the highest after the week of January 9 when Tesla sold 12,654 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles after cutting prices by as much as 14% on January 6.

However, the average daily year-to-date sales were 1,016, while the figure for October and November was 1,317, suggesting that price cuts may not be enough to accelerate sales in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter.

The news agency quoted a Shanghai-based analyst as saying that Tesla’s problems in China may be due to the brand’s aging product range, which seems logical given the pace of domestic electric car production in the country. Also, Tesla’s price cuts may have encouraged shoppers to see if the brand’s competitors would offer deep discounts as well, which brings us to…

Third gear: Audi won’t play along

Audi is the latest automaker to come out and say it won’t follow Tesla down the dangerous path of price cuts, according to Germany automobilush via Auto News:

“It wouldn’t be the right way to go up and down dynamically with prices,” Audi’s European chief, Jens Potvarken, told Automobiliush magazine.

“A significant price reduction always has an effect on residual values,” Potvarkin said in the report.

In January, Tesla cut the prices of its Model Y and Model 3 cars by between 17 percent and 20 percent.

Also, Audi will not raise prices even after the Volkswagen brand announced that it will raise the prices of its cars by 4 percent. The Audi and VW brands are part of the Volkswagen Group.

“We have our own pricing policy, and we take such a step when it is necessary for the Audi brand,” said Potvarkin.

The head of Audi Europe added that this decision is independent of Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume statement in January that the company will ignore Tesla’s pricing behavior, stating that while Audi is in “close coordination” with the group’s senior officials, it does not automatically follow its guidelines.

Fourth gear: Toyota executives believe the Model Y is a ‘work of art’

If you want to know precisely how far Toyota is behind on the whole EV thing — and how hard they’re working now to catch up — you’ll want to tell this story from Auto News reading. Among other things, it tells us that when Toyota bought a Y model to its engineers for analysis, they were totally blown:

When engineers at Toyota recently conducted a decommissioning study of the Tesla Model Y, they did more than unearth the key technology secrets of the US-made all-electric crossover.

It also shredded the Japanese automaker’s complacency.

What lay beneath the Model Y’s sheet metal was a brilliantly streamlined bodywork built with advanced manufacturing ingenuity that would be the envy of any vintage automaker.

It was really, really a work of art,” said one Toyota executive, who partially inspected Tesla partly. “It’s incredible.”

Further, the story — which includes multiple anonymous interviews with Toyota employees — adds that the automaker recently sent a team from Japan to the United States to survey the field of competing electric vehicles in California:

Engineers at tech centers in North America, Europe and China have been pitching their own visions and needs for a next-generation EV platform since early 2022. Toyoda has commissioned R&D legend Shigeki Terashi to kick-start the EV reboot.

Terashi, 68, is an executive fellow and former executive vice president who oversaw a broad range of operations, from powertrain and electric vehicle development to advanced research and development and supply chain issues.

Sato’s new NEV team, short for “Next Generation EV,” traveled to North America from Japan for a three-week EV deep dive. After touring the Chicago Auto Show, they were set to test and drive competition electric vehicles at Toyota’s proving ground in Fowlerville, Michigan, before heading to its regional headquarters in Plano, Texas, and then to the EV ground zero in California.

Praise Tesla’s “manufacturing philosophy” and a call from an anonymous employee for a “new platform” for the “blank paper EV,” and I’m not sure whether to pity Toyota or be glad that the ultimatum is finally gone and is now awake. both think.

Fifth gear: Let’s cool it down with Fisker, okay?

Fisker’s stock price swelled by 30 percent after that Yesterday’s good news That the company has seen an uptick in new orders for its Ocean electric SUV in recent months, and the fact that the Ocean has been in production for a little while now. In what could be the funniest headline I’ll read all week – “Fisker stock jumped 30% on expectations that the analyst would call it ‘ridiculous'” – At least someone quoted by Reuters feels that this sudden adoration of a company that has spent the past three years trying to make the same car may be a bit premature. politeness Auto News:

Fisker has reiterated its 2023 production target of 42,400 vehicles with its manufacturing partner Magna Steyr of Austria, although some suppliers still face challenges.

Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James, called the stock rally “a classic example of relief rebound,” adding, “I think there are some concerns about the delayed start-up of production of the Ocean SUV.”

Molchanov said he expects 2023 production of about 30,000 cars.

Garrett Nelson, an analyst with CFRA Research, said the goal was “ridiculous given the difficulties of electric vehicle peers and Fisker’s production of 56 vehicles to date.”

I don’t know this Garrett Nelson, but he makes a good point. Also, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt anyway for being the first and possibly last analyst ever to have me spit water while writing TMS.

reflects: You love Mario Andretti because he always drives well

Happy birthday to Mario Andretti, who turns 83 today and was born on the 28th of February 1940. This also marks the 10th anniversary of our old friend Travis Okolski called him “cooler than you”.

Neutral: It’s also my friend Joe’s birthday

My oldest friend Joe turns 30 today, prompting me to crack the same joke I’ve been making in the 23 years I’ve known him, which is that he was actually born on the 29th of February and is therefore only seven and a half days old. He hates this, which is fair because it wasn’t funny the first time. He also claims that he does not like cars that A lot, but still Owns the first generation Subaru BRZ And he taught himself proof of that, which is pretty cool. 7.5 Happy, Joe!

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