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Hedge fund manager David Einhorn says Tesla may only appear to have a lead in autonomous driving cars because, he says, the company is willing to put insufficiently tested cars on the road.
"Some of TSLA's presumed market lead in areas like autonomous driving may more likely reflect TSLA's willingness to put inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road rather than a true technological advantage," said Einhorn in a Tuesday letter from his firm, Greenlight Capital.
Tesla was not immediately available for comment.
"While the CEO makes bold claims about TSLA's superior prowess, continued production shortfalls, defects and product recalls disprove him. TSLA faces competition from established OEMs that have decades of scale manufacturing experience," he said.
This is neither the first time Einhorn has criticized Tesla, nor the first time someone has criticized the company for the way it deploys its Autopilot technology.
In July, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety questioned the electric-auto maker's claim that the Model S is the safest car in history.
In defending itself at the time, Tesla said the "most objective and accurate independent testing of vehicle safety is currently done by the U.S. government, which found Model S and Model X to be the two cars with the lowest probability of injury of any cars that it has ever tested, making them the safest cars in history."
Car-shopping researcher Edmunds on Monday touted Tesla's autonomous features such as automatic parking, blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control, saying it was leading the pack in improving car safety.