Whistleblower reveals Tesla phantom braking complaints

Occurred: May 2023-

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A Tesla whistleblower leaked 100GB of sensitive company data, including thousands of complaints about the safety of the company's self-driving system, including sudden acceleration or phantom braking.

Whistleblower Lukasz Krupski, an ex-employee at Telsa's Norwegian unit, leaked 100 GB of internal communications, employee personal data, customer complaints, and accident reports involving Tesla's braking and self-driving software, to German business newspaper Handelsblatt in May 2023. 

Krupski later told the BBC that he felt the carmaker's Autopilot driver assistance system was not safe for public roads, with other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. He also said that his colleagues had discussed Tesla vehicles randomly braking in response to non-existent obstacles, a phenonomen known as 'phantom braking', with some incidents resulting in crashes with oncoming traffic. 

The leak prompted concerns about Tesla's ability to protect the privacy of its employees and confidential company information, and led to an investigation by the Netherlands data protection authority. It also resulted in experts and commentators questioning Autopilot's safety, and the veracity of Tesla's marketing claims about the system.


Operator: Lukasz Krupski
Developer: Tesla
Country: Germany
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking
Technology: Driver assistance system
Issue: Privacy; Safety; Security
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2023