Tesla Motors updated its nondisclosure clause on Monday to make clear it does not intend on keeping its customers from raising red flags to the government if they think their vehicles are defective.
The issue arose after one Model S owner claimed the non-disclosure clause was foisted upon him in an effort to keep him from contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about issues with the vehicle. NHTSA regulators called the nondisclosure clause “troublesome.”
Reports of suspension problems in the Model S, as well as allegations the company forced customers to sign non-disclosure agreements prohibiting them from notifying the government about defects, gained traction in April on the Tesla Motors Club forum in a thread titled Suspension Problem on Model S.
The complaints come on the heels of a Better Business Bureau complaint filed on May 20 alleging Tesla refused to fix a customer’s faulty Model X until they signed a “hush up agreement.”
“Tesla refuses to make me whole on its repossession of the defective vehicle sold me unless I sign a hush up agreement with $150,000 penalty violation … Tesla then took back possession of the vehicle and cancelled its registration without my knowledge,” the complaint alleged.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk called complaints to the NHTSA that the company was hocking faulty Model S vehicles “bogus,” and suggested such complaints could be a coordinated effort to bring down the electric vehicle maker.
The company’s idea man, who said earlier in June that there is a “one in billions” chance humans are not living in a computer simulation, claimed that the vast majority of the complaints — about 40, according to Musk — filed about the Model S’ suspension were fraudulent.
“NHTSA confirmed today that they found no safety concern with the Model S suspension,” Musk wrote in a tweet on Friday. “And [they] have no further need for data from us on this matter.”
False locations and VIN numbers were used in many of the complaints, Musk explained, adding that if the report of falsified complaints is accurate, then it raises compelling questions about who or what group is behind efforts to take down Tesla.
“[It] would seem to indicate that one or more people sought to create the false impression of a safety issue where none existed,” Musk added.
NHTSA has not corroborated Musk’s claims, but it did say that Tesla is cooperating with its requests for information.
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