While everybody has been focused on new and emerging disasters at Tesla, like the company’s recent spontaneously combusting solar panel problem, coverup and ensuing lawsuits, it almost becomes easy to forget about the legacy disasters still taking place as a result of Tesla’s irresponsibility in the automobile industry.
Such was the case when yet another California driver was spotted seemingly fast asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla on I-5 near Santa Clarita on Saturday. The video captured shows the driver asleep before eventually waking back up and putting a hand on the wheel.
Clint Olivier, the driver who saw the Tesla said:
“He was completely out – sound asleep. My wife was on her phone on Instagram or something and I said get off your phone and record this!”
Olivier said he didn’t contact police because the driver woke up eventually and regained control of the car. The Tesla was said to not be moving erratically, but was still traveling 70 to 75 mph.
This isn’t the first incident like this out of California, either. In June, video broke of a driver who also appeared to be fast asleep in his Tesla Model 3 for 30 miles, as the vehicle flew down the 405 freeway.
A passenger alongside of the vehicle, Shawn Miladinovich, began taking video when he noticed that the driver was passed out, and that he had something “tied to the steering wheel” that the report assumes was used to trick Autopilot into thinking hands may have been on the wheel.
Miladinovich said: “I’d seen it on the news before, I just couldn’t believe I was actually seeing it.”
He said he first noticed the driver in Westminster, but saw him again about 30 miles later on his way from San Clemente to San Pedro.
“I realized he was fully sleeping. Eyes shut, hands nowhere near the steering wheel. If his little thing tied around that steering wheel fell off, and he was still sleeping, he would have slammed into somebody going 65 miles per hour,” Miladinovich said.
And so yet again, it seems as though Tesla’s claims that “Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time” continue to fall on deaf ears.
Perhaps the NHTSA may listen a little closer?