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Auto-park bashed our neighbour's car - should Tesla pay both repair bills?

init6

Member
Oct 16, 2020
474
265
Scotland
It occurs to me that you were parking on the right hand side of the road?
In the UK it's not unusual to park the "wrong" way, but in most countries it attracts penalties and almost never happens.
Perhaps the program thought you were looking at a space on the left hand side of the road and was starting a turn towards that, not the one you thought it was after? Being a US program I suspect it isn't set up for right hand of the road parking.
I think this is an interesting thought, but why would it not have detected the other car as an obstacle regardless of where it was trying to park. Would be interesting to see the video of the left side.
 

Alistairuk

Member
Jun 25, 2020
483
319
Scotland
I think this is an interesting thought, but why would it not have detected the other car as an obstacle regardless of where it was trying to park. Would be interesting to see the video of the left side.
It's hard to tell really from the camera angles but it seems rather far back to be trying to start parking into that space - unless the start of the manoeuvre has been cut off the video, when I was playing around with it during the trial I had to be a lot further forward in relation to the space/parked car that was hit - than what it seems to be in the video for auto park to be available.

From the position of the video, it looks like the car that was hit was possibly in the blind spot of the sensors.
 

init6

Member
Oct 16, 2020
474
265
Scotland
It's hard to tell really from the camera angles but it seems rather far back to be trying to start parking into that space - unless the start of the manoeuvre has been cut off the video, when I was playing around with it during the trial I had to be a lot further forward in relation to the space/parked car that was hit - than what it seems to be in the video for auto park to be available.

From the position of the video, it looks like the car that was hit was possibly in the blind spot of the sensors.
You could be right. I've only ever used BMW auto-parking and that drives well past the space before starting to park. In the front video you can see the car is stationary before it does the turn into the mini.
 

Dave Mac

Member
Mar 31, 2016
97
116
VA
I'm sorry this happened, and I think many people here are correct that Tesla won't take any responsibility for this, etc. My thoughts on what happened, however, are that after watching the video and re-reading the manual, this was not a correct starting position for parallel autopark. Why was the car pointed to the left curb?
Check to determine if the detected parking space is appropriate and safe. If so, pull forward and stop approximately a car length ahead of the parking space (as you normally would when parallel parking or when backing into a perpendicular parking space).

Now, I don't think that the car should ever hit anything, but it is still a beta feature. I have seen the autopark "P" symbol appear at random times, such as when in traffic.
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
982
452
Tea Gardens
Further to my previous, here in Australia we of course drive on the left (correct <g>) side of the road and no-one would even think of parking the "wrong" way because it would attract cops like flies and jam.
I have driven slowly past car spaces available on the right hand side and NEVER have had the car suggest a space that side.
I would love to see the video from the left camera or the rear to see if there was a space on the left of the road that the car might be aiming for.
 

m-i-l

Member
Jun 20, 2019
112
129
London NW3
Thanks to those who provided level-headed replies (and no thanks to the mean-spirited replies).

To answer my second question - Tesla do have a process for requesting an investigation/diagnosis. You need to raise a service request via the app (I used the "Other / Something else" category), and say you want a diagnosis. They will contact you for further information, and you will need to provide as much detail as possible after that, e.g. emailing videos to the email address they provide. They keep the logs for 3 weeks by default, so you need to do so within that timeframe.

In my case I raised the request on 20 Apr, they escalated to their Engineering team on 28 Apr with an SLA of 5 working days, and on 6 May they responded. They confirmed that it was on autopark at the time of the accident. However, they could see "no explanation" for the accident, could see "no sign of an underlying fault", and pointed to the Terms & Conditions which state "Autopark may not steer Model 3 appropriately. Pay attention when parking Model 3 and stay prepared to immediately take control." In other words, it is normal behaviour for the software to periodically crash your car.

I pointed out that it wasn't a reasonable expectation for a driver to be able to take control in the time frame available. If your car unexpectedly starts moving at a speed of 1.5meters per second towards a neighbouring car which is 15cm away, then you just have 0.1s to stop it, which is not a realistic amount of time for humans. They responded by repeating the Terms & Conditions.

I asked about whether using autopark again is likely to crash the car. They said they didn't know, but their recommendation was to try autopilot on the motorway first and if that doesn't "behave unusually" then perhaps try autopark again. I said that a motorway wasn't perhaps the safest place to experiment with such things, but they said I could try any road that had clear markings, although did remind me that if it wasn't a dual carriageway or motorway then I shouldn't really be using autopilot. The conversation didn't appear to be going anywhere productive by this time so I ended it.

Personally I don't think they will be able to hide behind the Terms & Conditions indefinitely. There's a clear parallel with Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, and even some parallels with ICL/Fujitsu's Horizon, plus Terms and Conditions are not enforceable if they are classed as unfair or unreasonable in a court of law.

Incidentally, I did ask the insurance company if this could be classed as a "no fault claim". They responded that it is possible for the liability to be placed on a manufacturer due to a manufacturer fault, but the manufacturer needs to confirm this. Unfortunately Tesla said that there was no fault.

Repair bill for my car is just over £3.5K, and the other car is just over £1.5K. Not to mention the £6K I spent to purchase this feature.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,274
2,267
Bath, UK
Thanks for the update.

I’ve used Autopark once, and it worked perfectly, but I was very apprehensive about it kerbing the alloys so wasn’t at ease while it was doing it.

Based on this experience, and some others I’ve seen on YouTube that highlight its shortcomings, I’ll probably avoid it except in the most sanitised environments.

As I said previously, based on the video, I don’t think it would have been practical for you to have avoided the collision based on how fast the car moved at the start. I can only presume it had no idea where things were at that point, and couldn’t “see” them, or the software simply ignored the sensors (a software bug in Autopark is always possible).

A disappointing response from Tesla, but not unsurprising, they are at pains to burden the owner with full responsibility for their “Full Self Driving” features.
 

Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
982
452
Tea Gardens
It's impracticable to monitor autoparking. Visibility in the S is very limited: if you are parking yourself you allow a fair distance and creep slowly if you're unsure of the clearance.
When the a/p does it it knows - or thinks it knows - where the obstacles are, often so close and outside your mirrors' compass and proceeds at a pace you would not. 9 times out of 10 it misses but is that enough?
Plus it's so slow recognising places, and it thinks for what seems hours when going backwards and forwards that I always think there's going to be some 300lb tattooed individual with a ute and a pit bull pulling my door open halfway through......
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
1,871
1,534
Norfolk
I would be mighty tempted to pursue through the courts. As you rightly say, T&C’s have to be reasonable. There is of course the ‘fit for purpose’ argument.
As for the suggestion to try AP on a motorway to check it’s behaviour… that has to be complete and utter bull!
i wish you good luck if you take it further.
 

AndrewGR

Member
Oct 18, 2019
407
196
Oxfordshire, UK
Tesla’s response is shocking. In one breath they seem to be admitting that the product they have sold you is not fit for purpose and in the next denying all responsibility. Definitely one for a no win no fee lawyer to have a go at.

When parking I much miss the 360 degree birds eye view I had in my humble Nissan. Made parking a doddle whether parallel, between cars or in marked bays. Even the lines in the rear view camera on the M3 don’t seem very helpful at keeping lined up when reversing.
 
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Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
982
452
Tea Gardens
>>Even the lines in the rear view camera on the M3 don’t seem very helpful at keeping lined up when reversing.<<

I find them more of a hindrance than a help: I tend to look more at them than the lines on the ground - if I ignore them it is easier but they are quite dominant.
I would think that a court would look favourably on someone who has dented a car using autopark - assuming within the Tesla published parameters such as no slope etc. If you use a serviceable piece of equipment that cannot be effectively monitored the liability should rest with the supplier.
It's going to be much more of an issue when - if - FSD is ever activated beyond level 3, because effective monitoring is questionable even for an attentive driver. The videos of the Beta certainly demand more than full attention, taking it away from what's actually going on in the real world outside. Packing more and more small icons etc isn't an answer to the problem.
 

wooter

Nou ik heb niet te klagen over Tesla support
May 3, 2017
6,257
4,554
Belgium
I would be mighty tempted to pursue through the courts. As you rightly say, T&C’s have to be reasonable. There is of course the ‘fit for purpose’ argument.
It will be very hard to prove that Tesla is responsible, after Tesla markets the autopark feature as a driver assistant, and gives ample warning in their T&C's, the manual and on screen while using the feature.
As for the suggestion to try AP on a motorway to check it’s behaviour… that has to be complete and utter bull!
Autopilot (or it's two components traffic-aware cruise control and autosteer) have nothing to do with autopark.
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
1,871
1,534
Norfolk
It will be very hard to prove that Tesla is responsible, after Tesla markets the autopark feature as a driver assistant, and gives ample warning in their T&C's, the manual and on screen while using the feature.

Autopilot (or it's two components traffic-aware cruise control and autosteer) have nothing to do with autopark.
My perception is that the OP got the longhand of version of “it’s within spec”. The circumstances, the complete lack of spatial awareness by the vehicle and the complete lack of time to prevent the accident would suggest that there is an issue. Given that there are a lot of random parking sensor issues at this time, I would minimally send a Solicitor’s letter to throw down the gauntlet.

It’s nothing compared to the OP’s problems but I just spent a week arguing the toss with my broadband provider who, after many wasted hours and exhaustive tests told me their was nothing wrong with their service or equipment and therefore my home setup beyond their router was the problem and I must pay for an engineer to attend. The engineer took 5 minutes to replace their faulty router and restore my service to it’s former glory at no cost to me. It does however show that things are not always as they appear to be. I knew I was right just as I’m sure the OP knows he is right.
 

wooter

Nou ik heb niet te klagen over Tesla support
May 3, 2017
6,257
4,554
Belgium
My perception is that the OP got the longhand of version of “it’s within spec”. The circumstances, the complete lack of spatial awareness by the vehicle and the complete lack of time to prevent the accident would suggest that there is an issue. Given that there are a lot of random parking sensor issues at this time, I would minimally send a Solicitor’s letter to throw down the gauntlet.
Generally, if you lawyer up against Tesla, they lawyer up too. And then it's up to the lawyers to come to a solution.

This, just as anything else, is within spec: you, the driver, at at all times responsible for the driving of your car.


So, this can only work if you can produce forensic evidence that the owner/driver never intended the car to move, wasn't controlling the car and didn't activate any system that would have the car move, while under supervision of the owner/driver.
 

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