Celebrity actress Jamie Lynn Spears is blaming Tesla for her cat’s death after the silent vehicle didn’t alarm the animal that it was moving toward it.
Spears, the younger sister of early 2000’s pop music star Britney Spears, took to her Instagram to complain to Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the car’s silent nature, which she blames for the death of multiple family cats. “Someone’s got to let Elon Musk know that the Tesla is a secret cat killer,” Spears said on an Instagram story. “It’s a problem that we’ve really got to fix.”
Because of their lack of a combustion engine, transmission, and other car parts that emit noise, Teslas are relatively quiet vehicles. In fact, the NHTSA required all electric vehicles built after September 2019 to be equipped with a noisemaker. The noisemaker would activate when the vehicle is traveling below 19 miles per hour, which is the speed the NHTSA believes noise is adequately made by the vehicle to alarm pedestrians that the car is near and in motion.
Additionally, Teslas are also outfitted with several external cameras, which give the driver an extremely clear picture of what surrounds the car. Even though the car makes minimal amounts of noise when in motion, it is still the driver’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings.
Spears’ cat, named Turkey, was backed over in a driveway, and unfortunately, it isn’t the first time the family has lost a pet because of the vehicle. “We have now lost, I don’t even want to tell you how many cats because they don’t’ hear the Tesla Crank and unfortunate things happen. And it’s really devastating and tragic for everyone involved.”
It’s unfortunate, no doubt, that the Spears have lost several family pets due to negligence while driving. While there is a lack of noise in the Tesla, it is still always the driver’s responsibility to remain alert. Spears is taking to Instagram in an attempt to convince CEO Elon Musk that there needs to be a new feature that will alarm animals that a nearby vehicle is in motion.
Tesla certainly has a soft spot for pets, and the company added “Dog Mode” several years ago so that animals could remain at an appropriate temperature while their owner is not in the car during an errand. Spears suggests that it wouldn’t have to be an annoying or stereotypical EV noise. “Maybe [Elon] could make one of those noises that bother a cat or animal’s ears when it cranks up, so that way they know something’s happening and it’s not caught off guard.”
The noise could likely be added in a software update and would be considered useful for the owners of outdoor pets. Whether Musk decides to add the feature is ultimately up to him, but with the company’s soft spot for animals, there is a good possibility that Musk may consider the option.