Do Tesla Cars Crash More Often? (Numbers & Facts)

Tesla is the only brand in the entire automotive industry that has the most innovative electric vehicles.

Still, the consumers are not fans of Tesla’s new Autopilot feature, and here’s why.

Do Teslas crash more than similar gas-driven cars?

Research shows that gas-powered vehicles are less likely to crash than high-end electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and X. This is because of the high torque output produced by their motors as soon as the driver steps on the pedal.

study on millions of vehicles by Cambridge Mobile Telematics shows that Tesla drivers are 50% less likely to get into any accidents as compared to drivers of other similar gas-driven cars. 

Since June 2021, Tesla’s electric vehicles have been reported for 70% of crashes due to the drive-assist Autopilot system. But the data is not complete and hence cannot indicate whether the drive assist system in Tesla EVs is at fault.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that these federal figures are yet to determine whether these automated safety enhancements enhance the safety of green vehicles.

The statistic shows that Tesla owners who have experience driving ICE (internal combustion engine) are less likely to be distracted by other things such as their phones and would not drive about the speed limit more than 9 percent of the time.

Therefore, having fewer accidents.

Experts say that Tesla models are capable of reaching 60mph in less than 3 seconds after the vehicle is started.

However, conventional gas-powered vehicles take a while to reach that kind of power after the engine is switched on.

You can also check here if Teslas break down more often than other cars.

Do Teslas crash more than other electric cars?

The Autopilot features in Tesla vehicles have resulted in 200 more crashes than its EV rivals in the automotive industry, according to the data accumulated by the NHTSA. 

Tesla’s crash figures per its 1000 electric vehicles were higher than any other automaker in the industry.

Even though Tesla has more vehicles out on the road in the U.S as compared to other automakers, its reporting system is significantly faster.

While other automakers don’t have their crash reports finalized until after a couple of months.

If we’re talking about different EVs crashing due to their automated systems, then GM reported only 3 vehicle crashes while its “Super Cruise” feature was turned ON but later confirmed that the crashes were not a result of using the driver-assist feature.

Similarly, Nissan confirmed there were no vehicle crashes due to their driver-assisting features.

Ford confirmed that no crashes were reported regarding their “Blue Cruise” feature, which makes Tesla the only brand of electric vehicle with the most crashes due to its driver-assist feature.

Tesla did issue a statement regarding the figures saying that the drive-assist features are yet to be improved and the “Full Self Driving” feature cannot completely drive by itself, so the drivers must be aware of the situation and ready to take charge at all times.

Did older Tesla get more into accidents than later models?

Older Tesla models have recently been running into multiple issues where the vehicle either stops charging or the built-in functions stop working, but they significantly get into fewer crashes than newer Tesla models that have the Autopilot feature.

According to Tesla’s Vehicle Safety Report, the Autopilot feature isn’t faulty but can underperform in drastic weather conditions.

Following the figures provided by Tesla, vehicles had 1 crash in every 3.07 million miles in the 4th quarter of 2019.

Newer Tesla models driving without the active safety features had 1 accident but 2.07 million miles.

Vehicles with both features disabled suffered an accident every 1.64 million miles.

The Autopilot has been installed in all Tesla vehicles (Model S, X, 3, and Y) released since October 2016. We have an article that will explain what causes Tesla to stop automatically.

The autopilot feature is mostly used on the highway by drivers than in the city. According to NHTSA, other vehicles by automakers are more likely to get into crashes than the relatively new Tesla vehicles.

How often do Teslas crash due to car failures?

Elon Musk said that Tesla vehicles are 10 percent less likely to crash than any other vehicle in the industry when the Autopilot feature is enabled.

In 2017, the national crash rate reported by the NHTSA was about 1 accident every 498 hundred miles whereas Tesla vehicles would have one accident per every 3 million miles driven.

The report revealed that ever since the Autopilot feature was installed in Tesla vehicles after 2016, vehicles with the feature would face 0.8 crashes per million miles whereas vehicles without it would be involved in 1.3 crashes per million miles.

Conventional vehicles are easily judged regarding their reliability due to their history, but electric vehicles are relatively new to the market and continuously improving, which makes it difficult to decide their sustainability in the long run.

Tesla vehicles are incredibly innovative, offering some of the best safety features in the industry.

There haven’t been any reported incidents when a Tesla vehicle failure would lead to an accident, considering the fact that Tesla is continuously improving their models to reduce user complaints.

Tesla vehicles do not break down a lot as they are inspected every 12,000 miles.

How reliable is the auto-braking system in Tesla?

Tesla vehicles do not have drum brakes installed. They have regenerative brakes that help you charge your tesla while driving. Also, you don’t need to break in a Tesla, it will be ready once you get it.

Instead, there are hydraulic brakes or full-electric Brembo brakes installed in the vehicles, which are a part of the “Full Self Driving System”. 

The brakes are very reliable as they do not depend on the existing battery charge or energy of the vehicle to work.

Tesla vehicles have an energy bar on the top of the touch screen.

It has a small line that indicates your energy usage and regenerative braking. The line’s left side indicated whether or not Tesla’s regenerative braking is reduced.

The braking system found in Tesla vehicles is exceptional, but if there are multiple dots on the left side of the energy line, it indicates that the regenerative braking is reduced.

There are multiple reasons why that happens, such as limited deceleration due to a full battery or cold temperatures.

We have seen problems with phantom breaking in Teslas Model Y, and braking problems are actually not as uncommon as you’d think across the whole Tesla lineup.

Has Tesla had any recalls due to safety reasons?

After the traffic safety administration’s concern regarding the rolling stop of Tesla vehicles, Tesla issued a recall for all vehicles with that particular feature.

More than 11.7 thousand Tesla vehicles were recalled by the automaker for a glitch in automatic emergency braking.

In December 2021, Tesla had another recall for vehicles that had a rear camera issue with some defects in the trunk that could be potential safety risks.

In November 2021, Tesla issued another recall for about 12 thousand vehicles due to some safety concerns.

The included vehicle models were:

  • Model 3,
  • Model X,
  • Model Y,
  • and Model S.

The Model X has had problems with airbags.

We have a separate article about Tesla’s airbag systems and how they work.

After that, Elon Musk also sent a software update that fixed some issues in the existing electric vehicles.

What are the main reasons Tesla crashes?

Here are a few reasons why a Tesla vehicle crashes.

  • Many drivers involved in crashes report that they were momentarily distracted on their phones while the vehicles were set on the Autopilot feature.
  • The driver-assist features fail to brake at higher speeds.
  • There was a rare accident case where the Tesla Model S had a safety system failure which led to the crash.
  • The Autopilot can crash if there’s a stationary object either blocking the entire lane or placed in a position that makes the lane narrow.
  • The Autopilot was unable to make left side turns or freeway exits, which was fixed in Software Update 9 of Tesla’s Autopilot.
  • The Autopilot doesn’t work well on construction lanes.
  • Drivers who put the Tesla vehicle on Autopilot during cross traffic or on roads with intersections, often get into accidents.
  • Sometimes the safety system’s cameras can’t distinguish when an object immediately comes in front of the lane.
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