Not long ago, we told you that a popular Tesla hacker discovered some "special codes" in Tesla's vehicles that could be cause for concern. The assumption seemed to be that the reported codes could be used to provide "one-off" builds for safety organizations. Since this would likely be considered cheating, the details surrounding the findings have been under investigation.
Tesla owner and amateur "hacker" Green (@greentheonly) posted a message on Twitter revealing that he discovered ANCAP support in Tesla's code. He added that he had previously found code linked to a Chinese vehicle testing facility, in addition to EuroNCAP and Korea NCAP.
Tesla's vehicles perform better than many rivals in crash-testing across the globe. CEO Elon Musk has gone so far as to say some of Tesla's models earned the highest scores ever recorded by various safety organizations. For this reason, when a member of the Tesla community suggests the company could be using technology to take advantage of the system, it gets attention.
From the time the first story broke, it wasn't 100 percent clear exactly what Green was suggesting. He basically discovered the code, which seemingly surprised him. It appeared to some people that he suggested Tesla was sending one-off builds. However, if you read that part of the tweet carefully, and consider the question mark at the end, it seems Green may have been asking a question to the community about why Tesla might have the codes.
At any rate, according to a recent article published by Electrek, after media coverage of Green's discovery, Euro NCAP launched an investigation. The current results of the investigation were provided to CNN, though the publication's headline doesn't really make it clear it's related to alleged the crash-testing codes. Rather, it says the investigation was into Tesla Autopilot.
Nonetheless, Euro NCAP's program director Aled Williams made it clear that, thus far, they didn't find any evidence that Tesla was using codes to cheat on crash tests. He explained:
"The integrity of its star-rating scheme is of utmost importance to Euro NCAP and we will continue to do all we can to ensure the rating reflects the safety which consumers can expect from their vehicles. So far, Euro NCAP’s investigations have not revealed any evidence of an attempt to “cheat” the tests by Tesla."
Euro NCAP looked closely into Tesla's various software updates to ensure that the automaker wasn't taking any steps that could be skewing crash-test performance. While there were reportedly concerns that Tesla could be using geofencing, which it may use for its Full Self-Driving beta program, Euro NCAP added that while it's a possibility, Tesla says it's not happening.
"It is possible that GPS location is used to identify that the car is at a specific test track. It’s one of the possibilities we put to Tesla and they absolutely deny that this is done."
Instead, Euro NCAP was informed that the special codes simply refer to the region where the specific vehicle is configured, which is essentially what's explained in the tweet reply near the top of the page.
Different regions have different rules of the road, different signage, etc. Regardless, Euro NCAP says it will look further into the matter and make an attempt to do the crash tests over again to make sure the results are the same.