Here’s a video of the attention-seeking customer showing off his allegedly shoddy Tesla suspension component. Tesla’s good will gesture, helping him with his out-of-warranty claim, obviously was wasted on him.
And to further prove that no good deed goes unpunished, Tesla now has to suffer an attention-seeking journalist. Yes, another one. It seems they will never stop baiting Tesla, if only to rattle the easily-rattled CEO and thereby bring the clicks. Musk is making it too easy for the Ed Niedermeyers of the world to get satisfaction.
TeslaMondo has read Niedermeyer’s stuff since he was editor of The Truth About Cars. He has no flagrant biases except a Love Jones for Toyota, disgust for Detroit and a mistrust of electric cars. He predicted the Volt would bomb, calling it an electric lemon. He wasn’t totally wrong. He also predicted Tesla would prove to be nothing but a niche, not a revolution. He’s looking wronger by the year on that count, as Tesla devours high-buck market share and drags other automakers, kicking and screaming, into the EV market.
Also, TTAC ran the Tesla Death Watch series under his purview. Whether he started or ended it matters not at all. Perhaps Tesla’s reference to it during the shareholder meeting made Niedermeyer uncomfy. He’s used to playing offense, not defense. Last year he posted an undercover vid from the bushes near a Tesla Supercharger, showing a diesel generator acting as a temporary backup power source. He likes to irk auto companies and then bask in any attention he gets from company brass. So one could say his agenda revolves around the promotion of . . . Ed Niedermeyer.
UPDATE. The ill will has polluted the NHTSA’s easily-polluted database of complaints, according to Musk on Twitter. The vast majority of suspension complaints are phony. And the agency does not want any more info from Tesla, he added, so it’s a dead issue anyway.
Let’s hope these tweets don’t bring a brush-back from the NHTSA. Musk has mischaracterized NHTSA positions before, at least according to the agency. He once claimed Tesla requested a full investigation of Model S fires (The agency said that never happened). He claimed Model S got a 5.4 crash test rating (The agency said there’s no such rating). He also ruffled feathers when he proclaimed there would “definitely” be no Model S recall for fires caused by highway debris striking the battery-laden underbelly (The agency was still investigating.) Telsa did end up installing a titanium shield to douse the issue instantly.
Something fishy going on here with these fake suspension complaints? A conspiracy? No, probably just someone trying to build a case against Tesla in some yet-unnamed legal action, or trying to pressure Tesla into more good will repairs. Crying “conspiracy,” or even implying it, just makes you look paranoid, even if you turn out to be correct. And paranoia, you know, is the hobgoblin of cult leaders. Tesla needs to shed the cult image, not embrace it.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Looks like the suspension problem depicted on the NHTSA website comes down to one loose nut — of the human variety. Some guy from Australia spreads ill will about Tesla in the form of false NHTSA complaints. He’s also convinced SpaceX fakes its rocket landings. So now, in the public mind, Niedermeyer is aligned with this looney-tune. Hey, that’s what happens when you go fishing for bad news. Sometimes you hook something you wish you hadn’t.