You Park Your Tesla Model S, Return And It's Underneath a Tractor: Is Tesla Responsible?
Overton told a local news TV station that he exited his car, spoke to someone outside his vehicle who had inquired about the Tesla (a common occurrence among Tesla drivers). Then went on his way to perform some errands . Overton finished and returned to his car about 5 minutes later to find his car sitting underneath the back of a tractor trailer with a smashed windscreen and hundreds of dollars in damages. Overton reported the damages to Tesla describing the vehicle as “Rogue”.
Also see: What makes Tesla’s batteries so great?
The issue with driving a high tech car such as the Tesla Model S or X is that you are in essence driving a large computer around. Much like your home or mobile computer there are logs that can be used for diagnostic purposes. Tesla pulled those logs and determined that Overton used the Automatic Summon feature by double tapping the park button.
"The vehicle logs confirm that the automatic Summon feature was initiated by a double-press of the gear selector stalk button, shifting from Drive to Park and requesting Summon activation. The driver was alerted of the Summon activation with an audible chime and a pop-up message on the center touchscreen display.
At this time, the driver had the opportunity to cancel the action by pressing CANCEL on the center touchscreen display; however, the CANCEL button was not clicked by the driver.
In the next second, the brake pedal was released and two seconds later, the driver exited the vehicle. Three seconds after that, the driver's door was closed, and another three seconds later, Summon activated pursuant to the driver's double-press activation request.
Approximately five minutes, sixteen seconds after Summon activated, the vehicle's driver's-side front door was opened again."
Overton disputes the findings saying he simply put the Tesla in Park and exited the vehicle, and the Tesla did not move while he was answering questions.
Tesla further points out that the summon feature is in Beta and should not be used on public streets and should be monitored at all times. The Summon feature uses the parking sensors located in the bumpers to determine if it is safe to move forward. This feature is turned off by default and has to be turned on by the owner who is then prompted with several warning screens about the use of summon. Recently Consumer Reports made comments about the summon feature and the risk of using it unattended. Tesla took those comments and updated the software and added an extra setting if you wanted to use the summon feature unattended.
This is simply a lesson in always reading the fine print. If you are unfamiliar with a feature of any device and you have the option to turn it off you should do so until you become familiar with how it functions. Practice in a driveway or safe location before turning on the feature.
Do you think Tesla or the owner is responsible for this accident?