‘No Evidence’ Tesla Tried to ‘Cheat’ Safety Tests, Says Euro NCAP After Investigating

Last month, Tesla’s Model Y earned the highest 5-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) and ANCAP, achieving “the highest Overall Score among any vehicle tested under Euro NCAP’s newest, most stringent test protocol.”

Two days later, developer ‘green’, known for deep diving into Tesla software code, said “Tesla just added ANCAP support in their code. This is in addition to already existing “I VISTA” (Chinese testing grounds), EuroNCAP and Korea NCAP.”

“One wonders why do it (they also give testing houses one-off builds with the testing house in the name (with tweaked settings?)”, stated ‘green’. The developer didn’t share the section of code, but said, “That’s kinda hard. I have not really isolated it, I just noticed and addition and performed some extra looking, but you basically just see there are these named states that result in some different settings when active. I did not really trace where or how it’s set.”

This suggested Tesla software could perform differently based on location, which triggered the Euro NCAP to investigate the claims.

Now, Euro NCAP program director Aled Williams tells CNN Business that there was no evidence of Tesla’s safety standards performing differently, in an email last week.

“The integrity of its star-rating scheme is of utmost importance to Euro NCAP and we will continue to do all we can to ensure the rating reflects the safety which consumers can expect from their vehicles,” said Williams. “So far, Euro NCAP’s investigations have not revealed any evidence of an attempt to ‘cheat’ the tests by Tesla.”

Williams says it investigated Tesla’s software updates in its test vehicles and did not find anything wrong or different. The Euro NCAP said investigating Tesla, in this case, has been more scrutinized than others.

“It is possible that GPS location is used to identify that the car is at a specific test track,” said Williams. “It’s one of the possibilities we put to Tesla and they absolutely deny that this is done.”

“Different regions (such as Europe, Australasia etc.) differ in terms of legislation as well as road conditions/markings etc.,” added Williams. “The recent addition of ANCAP to the code of Model Y coincides with the start of sales of that vehicle in Australasia.”

Green told CNN this is an odd response considering there’s no evidence of unique markings and signs for Tesla vehicles in Japan.