The Tesla's driver and the company are going back and forth over the crash's cause.
[UPDATE] A Tesla spokesperson sent Motor1 the company's statement about this incident. You can read it below.
A Tesla Model S owner in Utah claims the car's Summon feature caused the empty EV to drive into the back of a nearby trailer. The sedan suffered a smashed windshield in the incident, but there were no injuries. The owner, Jared Overton, has blamed the accident on the vehicle's systems, but Tesla has countered that operator error was the culprit.
According to Overton when speaking with the local KSL News, he was driving the Model S on April 29, and someone asked him about the EV. After answering a few questions, Overton went inside a nearby business. He came out minutes later to find the sedan underneath a trailer.
“Imagine if a child was right there – I guarantee that they would be responding to this a lot differently,” Overton said to KSL News. “I will not feel safe with my little boy playing in the garage or the driveway if there’s the potential for a rogue vehicle.”
Tesla rejects Overton's version of the events, though. According to the vehicle's electronic logs, Overton activated the Summon feature, and it activated three seconds after he closed the door. However, Overton has asserted that he didn't simply stand there and watch the EV crash into the trailer. You can watch KSL’s report on the crash below to get a better look at what happened. Let us know in the comments which side you believe.
Tesla's statement says:
"Safety is a top priority at Tesla, and we remain committed to ensuring our cars are among the absolute safest vehicles on today’s roads. It is paramount that our customers also exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles – including remaining alert and present when using the car’s autonomous features, which can significantly improve our customers' overall safety as well as enhance their driving experience.
"Summon, when used properly, allows Tesla owners to park in narrow spaces that would otherwise have been very difficult or impossible to access. While Summon is currently in beta, each Tesla owner must agree to the following terms on their touch screen before the feature is enabled:
"This feature will park Model S while the driver is outside the vehicle. Please note that the vehicle may not detect certain obstacles, including those that are very narrow (e.g., bikes), lower than the fascia, or hanging from the ceiling. As such, Summon requires that you continually monitor your vehicle’s movement and surroundings while it is in progress and that you remain prepared to stop the vehicle at any time using your key fob or mobile app or by pressing any door handle. You must maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle when using this feature and should only use it on private property."