A high-end Tesla Model S Plaid “spontaneously combusted” last week in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The driver was briefly trapped in the vehicle but luckily managed to escape.
Just last month, Elon Musk announced the first deliveries of the Plaid model, a high-end, incredibly fast, $130,000 Tesla. Musk made claims about the safety of the vehicle and collected millions of dollars in pre-sale profits.
This fire happened within weeks of Plaid’s release. If the battery system is not ready for sale, it raises doubts about the rest of the vehicle, including the autonomous driving hardware and software.
Autonomous driving has the potential to save an untold number of lives. We must get this right. The Institute demands only that automakers wait to release technology until it’s ready, comply with basic standards, and be transparent about the decisions, testing, and safety of their products.