Federal safety regulators scolded Elon Musk over “misleading statements” on Tesla safety

Federal safety regulators accused Elon Musk of issuing “misleading statements” on his company’s Tesla Model 3 last year, sending a …

Faiz Siddiqui

San Francisco-based tech reporter covering automation and the future of transportation, including Tesla, Uber and Lyft

August 7 at 4:17 PM

Federal safety regulators accused Elon Musk of issuing “misleading statements” on his company’s Tesla Model 3 last year, sending a cease-and-desist letter after the chief executive claimed it was safer than other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admonished Musk for claiming the vehicle had “the lowest probability” of injury ever tested by the agency in its safety ratings program, according to the document obtained by government and legal transparency group PlainSite. That’s because NHTSA said the mass of a vehicle plays a role in passengers surviving crashes, something that’s not directly comparable between cars of differing sizes, despite the Model 3′s five-star rating.

NHTSA referred the matter to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, it said, to determine whether that statements constituted “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” The documents show NHTSA also subpoenaed information from Tesla on crashes involving its vehicles.

[Tesla floats fully self-driving cars as soon as this year. Many are worried about what that will unleash.]

The publication of the letters is the latest in a string of woes for Tesla, which has had a rocky few months after a tweet by Musk last year in which he said he had secured funding to take the company private. After an investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Musk agreed he would pay a $20 million fine and relinquish his company chairmanship. The company’s stock has plunged since hitting its all-time high in 2017, falling from nearly $390 to close at $233.42 Wednesday.

Regulators and industry executives have also criticized Musk for his bold predictions on launching a vehicle capable of “full self-driving” as soon as this year, followed by a robotaxi fleet next year, The Washington Post has reported. Those people say that the move to launch the largely unproved and unregulated technology could prove detrimental to the overall industry’s attempts to put self-driving cars on the road.

Tesla has faced lawsuits over its Autopilot technology, which has been active in at least three fatal crashes in the United States. And Consumer Reports said in May that Tesla was showing “what not to do on the path toward self-driving cars” with its Navigate on Autopilot feature, which it said was “far less competent” than a human driver.

In 2017, Tesla launched its mass-market Model 3 electric car, which starts at an online price of less than $40,000. The car has proved a popular choice among consumers, helping boost the company to record deliveries last quarter. The Model 3 — along with Tesla’s luxury models — has disrupted the larger automotive industry, which is still working to catch up with its own fully electric vehicles.

[The Technology 202: I drove a Tesla Model 3 and here’s what I learned: Trust but verify]

Tesla’s Model 3 earned a five-star safety rating from NHTSA in every category, the highest designation available, according to Tesla. The Model 3 also earned a five-star safety rating in Europe’s NCAP safety assessment.

Still, “frontal crash test data cannot determine whether a Model 3 would fare better in a real world frontal collision with, for instance, a significantly heavier SUV,” NHTSA said in its letter. Heavier vehicles typically offer passengers a higher chance of surviving a crash and avoiding injury. “To say that Tesla’s midsize sedan has a lower probability of injury than, say a larger SUV could be interpreted as misunderstanding safety data, an intention to mislead the public, or both.”

In response to the allegations in the NHTSA letter, Tesla pointed to previous statements defending its use of the language in question and claiming it arose from NHTSA’s own statements.

“Tesla’s blog statements are entirely based on actual test results and NHTSA’s own calculations for determining relative risk of injury and probability of injury,” wrote Alan Prescott, Tesla’s deputy general counsel, in excerpts of his response letter provided by Tesla. “Based on the foregoing, we do not see a reason to discontinue use of our safety blog or these statements as long as no other vehicle surpasses the Model 3 Long Range RWD’s Vehicle Safety Score and overall probability of injury.”

The NHTSA letter flagged a Tesla blog post titled “Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA,” which remains on its website.

[Tesla loss shows perils of lower-priced Model 3]

The FTC declined to comment on whether it had opened an investigation or reached a resolution on the matter. NHTSA said that it is committed to rigorous oversight of the industry.

NHTSA’s subpoenas appeared to include requests for information on Tesla crashes in multiple locations — including in Delray Beach, Fla., and Mountain View, Calif.

Walter Huang, a 38-year-old Apple engineer, died after a fiery wreck while driving his Tesla Model X SUV on Autopilot in Mountain View in March 2018, authorities have said. Jeremy Banner, 50, was killed while Autopilot was active when his Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer in Delray Beach, according to authorities.

The crashes have raised questions over the safety of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system, which keeps cars within their lanes and performs steering functions, among other features.

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Feds Demanded Tesla To Stop Claiming Model 3 Safest Vehicle Ever Tested, Letter Reveals

… the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s chief counsel wrote to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, saying it “is impossible to say based on the frontal …

FREMONT (CBS SF / CNN) — A federal safety regulator demanded last fall that Tesla stop claiming the Model 3 is the safest car ever tested. But Tesla has stood by the claim.

Tesla says Model 3 occupants have “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.” The claim is still on the company’s website. But in a cease-and-desist letter dated October 17, 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s chief counsel wrote to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, saying it “is impossible to say based on the frontal crash results or overall vehicle scores whether the Model 3 is safer than other 5-Star rated vehicles.”

The letter came to light this week after an exchange of letters and emails between NHTSA and Tesla executives starting last October and running through February of this year was posted on Plainsight, a legal transparency website. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act request. It was first reported by Bloomberg.

NHTSA’s letter said this wasn’t the first time Tesla has violated agency guidelines for using the federal crash test data in marketing or advertising. The regulator said it was referring Tesla to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to investigate whether the company had engaged in unfair or deceptive acts.

It is not clear from the documents if NHTSA or the FTC are pursuing action against Tesla at this time.

Tesla sent a response to that letter on October 31, 2018, standing by its analysis of NHTSA data.

“Tesla’s statements are neither untrue nor misleading,” said the letter sent to NHTSA from Tesla deputy general counsel Al Prescott. “To the contrary, Tesla has provided consumers with fair and objective information to compare the relative safety of vehicles having 5-star overall ratings.”

The automaker says that 40% of cars now have 5-star safety ratings from NHTSA, so “it is more important than ever to help consumers differentiate.”

A Tesla spokesman had no comment on Wednesday, and referred to the company’s letter to NHTSA as its position on the matter. NHTSA did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning, and a spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment.

The initial letter from NHTSA came just after the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla had reached a settlement over charges that Musk had deceived investors when he had tweeted in August that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. Tesla and Musk each agreed to pay $20 million to settle that dispute, and the SEC dropped its demand that Musk be removed as CEO.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. CNN contributed to this report.

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Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC) Stake Raised by Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC

Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Honda Motor by 34.1% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns …

Honda Motor logoFlagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC) by 262.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,098 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 795 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC’s holdings in Honda Motor were worth $28,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Honda Motor by 23.0% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 31,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $837,000 after purchasing an additional 5,921 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Honda Motor by 34.1% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 430,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,388,000 after purchasing an additional 109,513 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Honda Motor by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 122,465 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,240,000 after purchasing an additional 370 shares during the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC raised its stake in Honda Motor by 4.0% in the first quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC now owns 204,556 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,557,000 after buying an additional 7,775 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cardinal Capital Management raised its stake in Honda Motor by 1.6% in the first quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 59,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,617,000 after buying an additional 916 shares during the last quarter. 2.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Honda Motor from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 10th. Deutsche Bank upgraded Honda Motor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 11th. ValuEngine upgraded Honda Motor from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. UBS Group cut Honda Motor from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 19th. Finally, TheStreet cut Honda Motor from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.00.

Shares of NYSE:HMC opened at $24.10 on Tuesday. Honda Motor Co Ltd has a 52-week low of $23.87 and a 52-week high of $31.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $43.50 billion, a PE ratio of 8.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 1.23. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $25.82.

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.97 by ($0.08). Honda Motor had a return on equity of 6.27% and a net margin of 3.38%. The firm had revenue of $36.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $36.46 billion. Research analysts expect that Honda Motor Co Ltd will post 3.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Honda Motor Company Profile

Honda Motor Co, Ltd. develops, manufactures, and distributes motorcycles, automobiles, power products, and other products worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Motorcycle Business, Automobile Business, Financial Services Business, and Power Product and Other Businesses. The Motorcycle Business segment produces sports models, including trial and moto-cross racing vehicles; business and commuter models; all-terrain vehicles; and side-by-side models.

Further Reading: What is a capital gains distribution?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC)

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Elderly missing persons getting found by AI in China

Megvii, which is better known as the Face++ company, helped find a missing elderly man as far back as 2016, according to Asia Times reporter Darlie …

Megvii, which is better known as the Face++ company, helped find a missing elderly man as far back as 2016, according to Asia Times reporter Darlie Yiu.

Since then the system has proven useful to police as well as families with elderly members.

For example, last October, a man in his 70s who had Alzheimer’s disease turned up in a police station in Northwest China. “Using the Megvii’s smart city management system, the man was identified and sent home in less than an hour,” Yiu writes.

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