(HorizonPost.com) – When Tesla founders started the company in 2003, they wanted to show the world that driving an electric car could be better than choosing a gas-dependent vehicle. Although cutting-edge technology brings the world many helpful advances, sometimes just because one can create something doesn’t mean they should. In November, Tesla owner Vince Patton filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) questioning the safety of one of the car’s features. Evidently, the car has a large screen next to the driver’s seat that allows the vehicle operator to play video games and browse the internet while the car is in motion.
The Tesla Feature
In August, Patton saw a YouTuber playing a video game while driving his Tesla. The owner was disturbed by what he saw and decided to investigate his own vehicle. Sure enough, he could load up “Sky Force Reloaded” without a problem by just affirming that he wasn’t the driver. The feature seemed only to require the user’s word, which is not much of a safety feature. He said he was “dumbfounded” that the game came up at all.
Patton’s complaint to NHTSA stated the company was “recklessly negligent” to allow the dangerous distraction in the Tesla Model 3. The vehicle safety organization has the power to recall vehicles with defects posing a safety risk. According to AP News, NHTSA didn’t open a formal investigation. Instead, it reached out to Tesla about the functionality of the feature.
Other NHTSA Concerns
Tesla is already under investigation for the safety of its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software systems. The federal government is trying to assess the impact of these types of vehicles on the road and any safety implications that would affect other drivers. The National Transportation Safety Board looked into two fatal Autopilot crashes in relation to the car company and made recommendations to avoid future incidents.
As to the distraction issue, AP News pointed out that the agency reported over 3,100 deaths in 2019 related to distracted driving and has no interest in adding to that number. NHTSA issued safety guidelines to help lower that death count, but following the recommendations was voluntary.
Tesla has yet to make a statement about the pending safety issues with its vehicles, and the NHTSA spokeswoman refused to reveal details about her conversations with Elon Musk’s company.
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