Tesla faces major public boycott over claims it has 'defective' self-driving software after Elon Musk slammed

Tesla faces major public boycott over claims it has 'defective' self-driving software after Elon Musk slammed

WATCH: The Dawn Project's 2024 Super Bowl advert calling for a Tesla boycott

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 12/02/2024

- 09:00

The Dawn Project claims Tesla is putting drivers at 'unacceptable risk'

A road safety organisation has called for a public boycott of Tesla’s electric vehicles with two new Super Bowl adverts after accusing the brand of using “dangerous” technology.

The Dawn Project has unveiled its new “Boycott Tesla Now” commercials which were released before last night’s Super Bowl LVIII, claiming to highlight the dangers of Tesla’s self-driving software.

The foundation, which was set up by technology billionaire Dan O’Dowd, has consistently called on Tesla to address issues with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology following a number of accidents.

In the newly released adverts, footage shows the use of a Tesla and its Self-Driving features in practice on the roads and the potential issues that may arise.

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Tesla electric vehicle charging

A billionaire has accused Tesla of having 'defective' software


One clip shows a news report after a Tesla hit a schoolchild in road test conditions, while another speeds past a school bus in North Carolina in March 2023.

It follows a previous advert run during the Super Bowl last year that shows the Tesla FSD running down a mannequin in the road, driving into oncoming traffic and ignoring road safety signs.

The Dawn Project has called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States to ban Tesla’s Full Self-Driving technology.

Dan O’Down, founder of the project, claimed: “This weekend The Dawn Project is calling for a boycott of Tesla because Tesla has failed time and time again to address the failings in its defective self-driving software.

Dan O'Dowd, founder of The Dawn Project

Dan O'Dowd, founder of The Dawn Project, has called for a public boycott


“This has resulted in multiple, fatal, collisions which could, and should, have been avoided.

“By allowing Autopilot to operate on roads with cross-traffic, where Tesla says it isn’t safe, Tesla is putting both its customers and the American public at unnecessary and unacceptable risk.

“Our two Super Bowl commercials this year urge the US public to boycott Tesla to hold the automaker to account for its failure to address critical safety defects in its self-driving software, which have resulted in numerous fatal collisions.”

Tesla is one of the most successful car manufacturers in the world, with founder and CEO Elon Musk acting as a firebrand for the company and its impressive range of electric vehicles.

The Texas-based electric vehicle producer delivered more than 1.8 million cars in 2023, with almost 36,000 registrations of the Tesla Model Y in the UK across 2023, beating out other popular vehicles like the Mini, Audi A3 and Vauxhall Mokka.

Elon Musk was spotted alongside his son at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday evening, watching the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime.

Dan O’Dowd alleged: “When you buy a new Tesla you are financing and enabling Elon Musk to put a dangerous, unfinished, product on our public roads.

“Through numerous nationwide TV commercials, including at last year’s Super Bowl, five full-page ads in the New York Times and online advertising, we have tried to pressure Tesla and Elon Musk to do the right thing and take their defective software off our roads.


Tesla factory in Berlin

Tesla is one of the most popular electric vehicle manufacturers in the world


"However, it seems that the only thing that will pressure Tesla and Elon Musk to do the right thing is to deny them your money.

“Boycott Tesla now to keep your kids and families safe from Tesla’s self-driving cars.”

GB News has contacted Tesla for a comment.

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