Surveillance video shows moment Tesla S brakes on Bay Bridge before 8-car pileup

The California Highway Patrol has released a series of surveillance videos showing the moment a Tesla Model S changed lanes and braked on the Bay Bridge on Thanksgiving, causing an eight-car pileup.

The videos show a close-up look at what happened on Nov. 24, 2022, from several angles. 

Last month, KTVU made a California Public Records request seeking the video, which was first obtained by The Intercept. The CHP released the video to KTVU on Thursday. 

The driver told police that he had been using Tesla’s new "Full Self-Driving" feature, according to a CHP report, before the Tesla’s "left signal activated" and its "brakes activated," and it moved into the left lane, "slowing to a stop directly in [the second vehicle’s] path of travel."

The driver, who has not responded to a request for an interview, said the autopilot feature malfunctioned. 

Even so, the CHP officer who wrote the report said he could not determine if the software was in operation or if his statement was accurate. 

The officer's report, obtained by KTVU, said the Tesla driver made an unsafe lane change and was slowing to a stop, which led to another vehicle hitting it, causing a chain reaction of additional crashes.

One 11-minute video in particular shows the driver of the white Tesla changing lanes and then braking in the far left lane of the bridge.

A pileup of cars ensued and most people reported suffering minor injuries.

On the day of the pile-up, Shayna Kelly of San Francisco told KTVU that she saw the Tesla abruptly swerving.

"He just made a sudden stop," she said. "At that point there was nowhere to go."

Her young son, Kelvaughn Kelly, added: "One car almost flew over us."

National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy has questioned Tesla's marketing the feature as "full self-driving," when it is incapable of that and said Tesla must do more to ensure people do not misuse the feature.

Reports of several Tesla drivers complaining of sudden "phantom braking," causing the car to slam on its brakes at high speeds have emerged. 

The Washington Post reports more than 100 such complaints were filed with NHTSA in a three-month period.