Tesla Claims Most Complaints To The NHTSA Are Fake


The information was shared in an e-mail sent to employees by Elon Musk last week

For Tesla, public opinion is of the utmost importance. Certainly, other carmakers don’t really fancy negative press either, but for the legacy carmakers, with millions of cars sold, absorbing negative claims is a lot easier than it is for Tesla.

In line with that, the recent (and even ones dating back quite awhile) negative NHTSA reports filed against Tesla do make for a widely concerning subject within the company. This is why Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, stepped in with a company-wide e-mail, revealing a report that explains the matter at hand.

The e-mail, released earlier today by Electrek, reveals how Elon Musk shared the report with Tesla employees, claiming how most of the NHTSA complaints filed against the automaker, are actually “fake.” Furthermore, the company even suspects that this is a tactic employed by the detractors of the company, or shorters.

This all started some two years ago. The NHTSA’s complaint system makes it easy to post bogus information. It has just now gotten to the point where Musk felt it necessary to address the issue.

Upon investigation, Musk (or more likely a Tesla employee) uncovered an alarming amount of these bogus complaints, which Musk seems to think is a “larger piece of a coordinated strategy” by Tesla detractors. You can find an excerpt from the report below:

“After a review of hundreds of Tesla customer complaints filed with NHTSA since 2016 through present day in 2018, I can confirm that at least two-thirds of them are fake.”

Some of these complaints were immediately labeled as “likely fake” due to submission by the same source without a valid  VIN. Furthermore, some were written in all caps and signed “A concerned citizen,” which should immediately trigger attention. All told though, Musk is confident some two-thirds of the complaints listed against Tesla on the NHTSA site are fake and the number is rising.

You can check out some of the various “fake” complaints here.

Source: Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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23 Comments on "Tesla Claims Most Complaints To The NHTSA Are Fake"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

NHTSA allows anonymous submissions……..lol

I’m sure nothing fake is going on there and everyone obeys themselves……BLAHAHAHAHAHA!

Typical gooooooberment agency with poor implementation.

I’m sure 90% of those are Keef Leech / Keef Wivaneff, the crackpot who claims SpaxEx faked all their rocket landings

That’s who I thought of immediately when I started reading this article. It’s shameful how some professional Tesla bashers, such as Edward Niedermeyer, used the obviously faked complaints sent by “Keef Wifaneff” aka “Lucille” to the NHTSA, in one of the more outrageous smear campaigns against Tesla, claiming that collapse of front end suspensions in the Model S were causing accidents.

If there was ever any doubt that the more hardcore Tesla bashers intentionally spread what they know is a pack of lies, that certainly ended it!

I’ve been surprised recently to see claims that all the smear campaign propaganda is coming from Chanos. Unless Edward Niedermeyer is just writing what Chanos feeds him, then it’s not all coming from just one guy. I think it’s pretty clear that there are multiple sources of anti-Tesla FÜD.


I believe this is true for most automakers, if you read through, some of the complaints are obviously made up, and duplicates by the same complainer.

For the heck of it I looked at complaints for the 2013 C-Max Energi. The first page all seems reasonable, not like the crazy ones highlighted here – although one guy asks why he is going through 4 rear tires in 6 months and then says he just got an alignment done, so they’re certainly not all useful.

No, it is not normal for one person FROM AUSTRALIA to admit to submitting the majority of one company’s NHTSA complaints, with that same person also running a website dedicated to posting stories that bash that same company.

Your attempts to normalize this abnormal behavior by claiming everybody does it, in an attempt to provide cover is also not normal.

Reeks of desperation/mental illness by keef the leech and other frequent FUDsters.

So did you put in some fake claims to support you short positions? Considering the time you invest in posting FUD on this forum it would fit the pattern.

NHTSA does go through a formal review process. We should be able to get more precise statistics than “at least two-thirds” figure.

Allowing anonymous submissions definitely increases the chances of a lot of fake complaints getting through.

Poor headline! Reports sound like after investigation and lack of a ”to” suggests originating from NHTSA.

Try most most complaints against Tesla to the NHTSA are fake.

Note when putting what they are in the title(complaints) also removes the need to add ”negative!”

Fixed. Great catch. The wording was hard to understand. Thank you!

Appreciate the work you put in Stephen

Thank you much!

It is the “whompy wheels” guy who put in all those suspension complaints, including this comment: “I AM NOT THE OWNER OF THIS VEHICLE.”

He self-identifies as “teslabears-club” and is a trolling anti-Tesla basher. Sadly, this will just start the usual suspects to go off on yet another completely unfounded line of attack on Tesla. Which is exactly what this “teslabears-club” psycho wants. He definitely has no business putting in NHTSA claims: “Oodnadatta, SA ”


What he does is find cars that have been in collisions and reports them as if the wheel caused the wreck instead of the suspension being designed to do the same thing that Volvo wheels are designed to do in a collision. He doesn’t understand the concept of crumple zone. This meme was dead years ago. It should stay dead.


A bed and a sled named “rosebud” are waiting for Musk…

Fake news? That old canard again?

I’m curious what percentage of all submissions are garbage, regardless of brand. I’m also curious how many submitters have their VIN readily available, or are comfortable submitting it.

100% if they come from you.

Oh the irony..

You’re shocked, SHOCKED to find that anyone would post fake news about Tesla, are you, Seven (Pretend) Electrics?

The amount of Tesla-bashing fake news posting in comments would drop significantly if you’d stop posting.

This just points to a huge flaw in the NHTSA complaint filing system. There should NEVER be a time when a complaint about a vehicle that a person owns can be submitted without the VIN to validate the vehicle. This just puts the entire database in question because of the expected large number of fake complaints. The VIN also needs to be crosschecked to make sure it matches with the reported owner as well.

This reminds me of when the music industry switched from clerks in record stores reporting which artists sold more albums to a register-based system tracking actual sales. The ‘fake’ best sellers dropped to the bottom of the list.

But seriously, with the technology available today, this issue with NHTSA should have never happened.

The NHTSA should have it set up such that the submissions are NOT anonymous – they should just publish the verified complaints without any personally-identifiable information.

Why is the government dumb enough to investigate “concerned citizen” complaints? Is this actual stupidity, or do they go through the motions to investigate worthless complaints to satisfy buddies in the auto industry? I wouldn’t buy a quitclaim deed to the Brooklyn Bridge from those folks, but some people in the D.O.T. might. 🙂

It’s probably a failed attempt at transparency – so many conspiracy theories abound that the gov’t is hiding stuff – well, it is, but military tech, not safety recalls.

It really needs to be a system where the submission must require personal information, including VIN, so that the submission can be automatically verified against a database. Then, the verified complaint can be made public without the personal information.