On Tesla’s website, a post from October 7, 2018, said “Model 3 not only achieved 5-star safety points in all categories, but NHTSA’s tests also showed that the car has the lowest vulnerability in every car has been tested by a safety agency “.
By October 17, 2018, NHTSA’s chief legal officer sent a letter to Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, saying that “it is not possible to rely on the front impact or overall score to say that Model 3 is safe.” than other 5-star cars “. The above content is still available on Tesla’s website.
The letter was raised this week after hand and email exchanges between NHTSA and Tesla officials began in October 2018 and lasted until February this year. Messages are posted on Plainsite, a legitimate website. Documents are also provided under the Law on Freedom of Information. The incident was first reported by Bloomberg.
NHTSA’s letter also said that for the first time, Tesla violated safety agency guidelines in using crash test data in marketing or advertising. Managers say they have moved Tesla’s case to the Office of Consumer Protection under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate fraud or deception if any.
The documents do not indicate whether NHTSA or FTC will then continue to oppose Tesla.
Tesla responded to the letter on October 31, 2018, affirming by NHTSA data analysis. “Tesla’s statements are not false, either,” the letter sent to NHTSA from Al Prescott, Tesla’s deputy general counsel. “On the contrary, Tesla has provided customers with honest and objective information to compare the safety of a car with a 5-star overall score.”
The US automaker also said that 40% of the current vehicles get a 5-star safety score from NHTSA, so “most important is to help customers realize the difference”.