Submitted by hiltxan on 22. September 2019
I got into an accident today because I was not used to autopilot. I usually drive a model 3, but this time I was driving a model X. I had autopilot on and wanted to change lanes on a congested freeway and turned on the signal stalk. The car started to slow down to find a spot and I decided to take over since it was taking so long so I instinctively flip the right stalk up as I do in my model 3. What happened was that this put the car into reverse. Not realizing this and upon seeing space up in front of my vehicle, I pressed the gas pedal which caused my X to move backwards, rear-ending the vehicle behind me. At first I thought it was all my mistake, that I probably pushed the brake pedal or that I'm too used to 3 to cancel autopilot with the right stalk.
I then recreated this scenario in a less congested area. I turned on autopilot and followed a car to a red light which slowed down both of us to 5 mph. Then I flipped the right stalk up to cancel autopilot and it indeed put the car into reverse. At higher speeds when I tested around 30 mph, flipping the stalk up to cancel autopilot put the car into drive.
Well, the accident occurred and my insurance premiums will go up as well as I have to shell out money to repair my trunk door. I also sent an email to Tesla and will see what their response is. I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened and it should be fixed with a firmware update. No driver would go from autopilot to reverse. It's the last thing on my mind when I am driving on a freeway trying to merge. Hopefully Tesla can fix this problem and I guess I'm also giving a PSA. I feel like there were several design flaws in this scenario that if fixed, could've prevented this from occurring.