Mid-America Catastrophe Services

A Moment Of Truth For Tesla

 Tuesday, January 24, 2023

 Insurance Thought Leadership

It’s a sign of the times at Tesla that I need to specify which issue is the moment of truth that I refer to in the headline.

I’m not talking about the high-profile lawsuit that began last week into whether CEO Elon Musk owes damages to investors who bought stock in 2018 when he tweeted, falsely, that he had "funding secured" to take the company private.

Nor am I talking about the crash in Tesla’s stock price over the past year, partly caused by Musk’s very public flailing at Twitter, which has, in my view, alienated both investors and potential customers at all Musk’s companies.

No, I’m talking about testimony that recently surfaced about a key video that Tesla used six years ago to sell the idea that its cars could drive entirely on their own.

The testimony, from a deposition last July by a senior Tesla executive, acknowledged that the video was staged. Coming at a time of mounting lawsuits that claim an overreliance on Tesla self-driving technology led to accidents, including fatalities, the testimony could be extremely damaging.