Just days after Tesla was forced to recall nearly every car it ever made over safety issues involving its Autopilot system, a new report alleges that Tesla has the highest accident rate of any automotive brand. LendingTree, the auto loan and mortgage giant, didn't go any further into its analysis other than to look at crash numbers. The report doesn't explain why Teslas crashed at a higher rate than any other brand, only that it does.
According to LendingTree, between Nov. 14, 2022, and Nov. 14, 2023, there were 23.54 Tesla accidents per 1,000 drivers. Only two other brands had more than 20 accidents per 1,000 drivers, Ram (22.76) and Subaru (20.90). That accident rate also helped it earn the second-highest incident rate, 31.13, behind only Ram (32.90). The difference between accident rate and incident rate is that the latter also factors DUIs, speeding, and any other citations.
Tesla's Autopilot and its Autosteer feature could be why Tesla is so crash-prone. Last year, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 322 frontal and other collisions resulted from Autopilot disengaging. As the recall mentioned above highlights, it was too easy for drivers to leave Tesla's Autopilot on its own and completely relinquish control. Tesla claims to be fixing that issue with a new over-the-air update.
Are Tesla drivers the worst drivers in the world, as LendingTree's headline suggests? That's a bit unfair to say. Does the report highlight a major concern that the automaker and safety agencies should be aware of? Of course.
For what it's worth, Tesla wasn't the only brand to be rattled in the report. BMW almost doubles the number of the second-place finisher for the most DUIs.
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