By CCN: There’s no sign of Tesla’s misfortune ending anytime soon. Billionaire Elon Musk was too busy humoring the internet even as his company ran into yet another concrete barrier. Tesla’s stock is languishing close to its 52-week low after the company’s horrible earnings that missed Wall Street’s expectations by a mile.
Musk’s maneuvering fails to work
Elon Musk tried to lift investor sentiment before releasing earnings. He held Tesla’s investor day a couple of days before releasing results, where tall claims were made about the company’s self-driving future.
However, that did not save Tesla’s stock from being decimated after earnings were released.
Don’t be surprised if Tesla’s stock plunges further, as more proof that Elon Musk’s bet on self-driving Tesla’s won’t be paying off is coming to the fore.
Tesla cars have a “killing” reputation
Apple engineer Walter Huang was killed in a Tesla Model X last year when his car hit a median in Mountain View, Calif. His family is now suing the Elon Musk-led company, NBC Bay Area reports.
BREAKING NEWS: Tesla hit with lawsuit by family of Walter Huang, Apple Engineer who died last year when autopilot in Model X steered him into a traffic barrier Southbound 101 in Mountain View. #ABC7now pic.twitter.com/1cEql1vllc
— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) May 1, 2019
The car’s autopilot system was engaged when the fatal crash happened. His family claims in the lawsuit that the defective design of the Model X was responsible for Huang’s death.
An NTSB investigation found out that Huang’s Tesla accelerated before crashing into the barrier and then caught fire after the crash because of a battery breach. Seven seconds prior to the crash, the Model X started veering to the left and the vehicle didn’t attempt any evasive maneuver such as emergency braking or steering away from the median.
What’s more, Huang’s family members claim that his Tesla Model X had a tendency to swerve toward the median while on autopilot. Huang had complained about the same to a Tesla dealership. Huang’s family believes that Elon Musk’s company made a defective vehicle that failed to protect its occupant.
Tesla’s autopilot system has an imperfect scorecard when it comes to protecting its occupants.
— MLG Attorneys at Law (@MLG_Top_Lawyers) March 5, 2019
Not surprisingly, Consumer Reports delivered a scathing criticism of Tesla’s autopilot technology, asserting that Elon Musk was more concerned about servicing the company’s fanboys and stock price rather than customers.
Elon Musk’s robotaxis shouldn’t hit the roads
Elon Musk was hoping to prop up Tesla’s stock with an “Autonomy Day” event. He knew that horrible quarterly numbers could dent investor confidence. And his optimism was on full display when he said:
“I feel very confident predicting that there will be autonomous robotaxis from Tesla next year.”
Elon Musk showed investors a dream that Tesla could have “over a million robotaxis on the road” by next year “for sure.”
He believes that fully autonomous capabilities are within arm’s reach of Tesla as the company’s hardware simply needs software improvements. But Musk should definitely avoid going down this track given the deaths that Tesla vehicles have caused.
Elon Musk feels he has a duty to prop up Tesla’s stock price with such outrageous claims. But he needs to stop treating customers as guinea pigs and ensure that Tesla’s autonomous driving system is bulletproof; otherwise, millions of defective autonomous cars could cause several fatalities and send the stock packing.