Ralph Nader, the man that killed the Chevy Corvair, has strong words for Tesla and its CEO.
Our younger readers might not know who Ralph Nader is, but his impact on the automotive industry was massive.
Nader is a lawyer/activist who single-handedly killed the Chevrolet Corvair by attacking it in his famous book, Unsafe At Any Speed. Chevrolet eventually axed the Corvair over one of the biggest scandals in automotive history. Nader solidified his reputation as a road safety advocate, and his political grandstanding eventually led to the formation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Nader has been keeping quiet for some time, but he launched an attack on Tesla's Full Self-Driving technology this week. He published a scathing open letter on his website and did not pull any punches.
"Tesla's major deployment of so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades. Tesla should never have put this technology in its vehicles. Now over 100,000 Tesla owners are currently using technology that research shows malfunctions every eight minutes," wrote Nader.
"The NHTSA has been investigating Tesla and its Full Self-Driving technology for several years. The NHTSA must use its safety recall authority to order that the FSD technology be removed in every Tesla," Nader explained.
"This nation should not allow this malfunctioning software which Tesla itself warns may do the 'wrong thing at the worst time' on the same streets where children walk to school. Together we need to send an urgent message to the casualty-minded regulators that Americans must not be test dummies for a powerful, high-profile corporation and its celebrity CEO. No one is above the laws of manslaughter," Nader concluded.
Previous research regarding the take rate of Full Self-Driving was completed in the second quarter of 2021. At that time, it was at an all-time low of 11%. The uptake rate was at its highest in the second quarter of 2019, when 46% of customers chose to go for the option.