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Elon Musk criticizes media on how they report on Tesla crashes

We have recently reported on the worrying trend of crashes involving Tesla vehicles ending up on national news and now Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizes the media on the situation in a tweetstorm.

After a second Tesla accident in a week made national front pages, it’s becoming clear that Tesla crashes get a disproportionate amount of media coverage compared to accidents in gas-powered cars.

The latest accident involved a Model S crashing into a truck stopped at a red light. The driver was injured, but her life wasn’t in danger.

It is still unknown if the Autopilot was activated during the crash, but several headlines stated that the vehicle was “equipped” with Autopilot.

Today, Musk started responding on Twitter:

As we can see from the picture of the aftermath of the crash above, it looks like the Model S’ large crumple zone has been quite useful during this crash.

We have reported on several examples of Tesla’s large crumple zone design making a big difference during crashes:

Earlier this month, Musk said that Tesla can actually detect dips in Autopilot usage by its fleet when there’s negative media coverage about a Tesla accident.

The CEO has been extremely vocal about his view of media coverage of Tesla accidents – going as far as saying that it was irresponsible.

Electrek’s Take

As we reported last week, it makes no sense that most of those crash stories make national news.

In some occasions, I think it makes sense. If we can learn something from the crash based on how active or passive safety features reacted, it does have some value.

In this case, the use of Autopilot hasn’t been confirmed, but it does look like similar recent crashes on Autopilot where the drivers weren’t paying attention.

The only way that a story about it has value is if it reminds Tesla drivers that Autopilot is safe to use as long as they stay attentive and they are ready to take control.

But that’s unfortunately rarely the case.

Earlier today, Musk talked about not adding any more driver monitoring systems and therefore, it looks like it’s going to be up to the drivers to be responsible.

Tesla has now over 300,000 vehicles on the road and some crashes are going to be inevitable, but let’s be safe out there people and not give more reasons to the media to report on crashes.

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