Mr Krupski said he had found evidence in company data which suggested that requirements relating to the safe operation of vehicles that had a certain level of autonomous or assistive-driving technology had not been followed.

He added that even Tesla employees had spoken to him about vehicles randomly braking in response to non-existent obstacles - known as “phantom braking”. This also came up in the data he obtained around customer complaints.

Mr Krupski said he had felt compelled to share what he had found with data protection authorities.

The US Department of Justice have been investigating Tesla over its claims relating to its assisted driving features since January. Tesla has also faced similar probes and questions from agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about its autopilot system.

German newspaper Handelsblatt published the “Tesla Files” after Mr Krupski shared 100GB of internal data he discovered.

The data protection authority in the Netherlands, where Tesla’s European headquarters are based, confirmed to the BBC it had been notified of the data breach and was looking into the claim.

  • OtterOPA
    7 months ago

    More about the files

    Handelsblatt (paywall), one of Germany’s top news organizations, says it has received over 100 GB of data from one or more Tesla employees. It broke the story with this headline: “‘My autopilot almost killed me’: Tesla files cast doubt on Elon Musk’s promises.” Those reports suggest that Tesla failed to adequately protect data from customers, employees, and business partners and has received thousands of customer complaints regarding the carmaker’s driver assistance system, according to The Guardian.

    That’s not all. Handelsbatt says that included in the data are tables containing more than 100,000 names of former and current employees, including the social security number of CEO Elon Musk, along with private email addresses, phone numbers, salaries of employees, bank details of customers, and secret details from production.

    Data protection in Germany is primarily governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The data protection office in Brandenburg, where Tesla’s European gigafactory is located, described the data leak as massive. “I can’t remember such a scale,” the Brandenburg data protection officer, Dagmar Hartge, told The Guardian.

    If such a violation is proved, Tesla could be fined up to 4% of its annual sales, which could be €3.26 billion ($3.5 billion). Just this week, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was given a record €1.2 billion fine by the EU privacy regulator over its handling of user information and given five months to stop transferring user data to the US. Tesla Data Breach Details

    The complaints, which were reported across the US, Europe, and Asia, span from 2015 to March 2022. During this period, Handelsblatt says Tesla customers in the US, Europe, and Asia reported more than 2,400 self-acceleration issues and 1,500 braking problems. These include 139 reports of “unintentional emergency braking” and 383 reports of “phantom stops” from false collision warnings. Other reports are about instances of claimed sudden acceleration, some of which caused cars to end up in a ditch, hit walls, or crash into oncoming vehicles.