Tesla Falls Short on Safety Testing

In 2013 Tesla claimed that it had the best safety rating of any car ever tested.  A recent study has now shown this to be false, and the Tesla Model S is no longer the safest car ever tested.  A more rigorous, and strict testing group Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that Tesla Model S did not receive either of its awards.  This was due to the Tesla Model S having a dummy’s head hit the steering wheel on one of the five crashes.  To be a 2017 Top Safety Pick a vehicle must have a “good” in five crash tests, and have an “advanced” or “superior” rating for frontal crash prevention, which includes emergency braking.  To get the Top Safety Pick+ the vehicle must also have an “acceptable” or “good” headlight rating.  The Tesla Model S received an “acceptable rating in a front end crash causing it to drop from contention for either award.  The IIHS claimed that the seatbelt was much too loose, and ended with the driver’s head being tossed into the steering wheel with enough force to cause facial fracturing, or a concussion.  The Tesla Model S headlights were also rated “poor”.  Tesla still claims to have the lowest probability of injury of any car tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and they expect to receive the highest possible ranking in every category making it eligible for the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award.


When viewing this ethically it is imperative that Tesla report the findings of the IIHS and NHSTA.  If they do not some consumers may purchase the Model S for the safe vehicle they assume they are receiving.  As of now the Model S falls short to seven other car models, most of these cost less than a Model S.  Integrity is highly important to business, and if Tesla was going to allow for its consumers to believe that it is among the safest vehicles to travel in it would certainly be a shot to their social integrity as a producer.  This would also be a severe attack to their professionalism.  Tesla is providing a service of sorts to their customers, by supplying them with an advanced piece of equipment to transport them to their desired destination, which is one of the three elements we discussed in class.  The other two involve the training it requires to complete the service.  To be a professional one must go through extensive training that contains some sort of intellectual component.  To become a Tesla vehicle designer one must obtain some sort of engineering degree which checks off both of those requirements.  This causes me to come to the conclusion that if Tesla is to continue their good business practices they must continue to disclose all information about their vehicles in a timely manner.  Otherwise they may end up breaking the good business practices causing their integrity to take a massive hit.  In the long haul ensuring the trust of their customers should be the main goal of Tesla Motors, rather than making a quick profit now.


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