Terrifying Tesla road rage attack in Auckland a hit on YouTube

The terrifying road rage attack caused US$45,000 worth of damage to the Tesla.
The terrifying road rage attack caused US$45,000 worth of damage to the Tesla. Photo credit: Supplied

A road rage attack on a Tesla Model X in New Zealand has been viewed 300,000 times after footage was loaded on YouTube just two days ago.

The scary incident culminates in a Mitsubishi Galant side-swiping and then swerving in front of the Tesla near Auckland Airport, causing significant damage to both cars.

The driver then gets out and starts pounding on the car's window, before blocking another vehicle from leaving the scene until police arrived.

It all started as the Tesla overtook the Mitsubishi, which then can be seen tailgating the Tesla and trying to stop it.

"After pulling in front of Geoff again, the guy brake checks him before coming to a complete stop, once more blocking both lanes. Geoff took evasive action and quickly drove around him," the YouTube video states.

"This sent the other driver into full Mad Max mode and he finally decided that he wanted to ram Geoff."

Unluckily for the driver of the Mitsubishi, Tesla owner Geoff Gardiner was using the Elon Musk-run company's built-in Dashcam functionality, which allows users to record footage from the car's multiple cameras to a USB drive.

It means that when police showed up to arrest the driver of the other car there was clear video footage showing exactly who was at fault.

Unfortunately the damage to Gardiner's Model X was serious and is said to have cost US$45,000 (NZ$65,000) to repair, according to the YouTube video. It took over three months for him to get his car back.

It's not clear why the Mitsubishi driver took offence to Gardiner and his Tesla, but if it was a protest against electric vehicles the perpetrator is going to have lots on his mind in the coming years.

The New Zealand Government has signalled petrol car imports are going to have to stop to help combat climate change and are encouraging Kiwis to buy electric vehicles and hybrids.

The target is to have 64,000 electric cars on the road by the end of this year.

Dashcam is one of a range of security features on Teslas, including a Sentry Mode that allows owners to monitor suspicious activity near their car.

"When suspicious motion is detected, your car will react depending on the severity of the threat," the company says.

"If a significant threat is detected, the cameras on your car will begin recording, and the alarm system will activate. You will receive an alert from your Tesla app notifying you that an incident has occurred."

Earlier this year Tesla enabled the in-car camera in its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to record the driver when its Autopilot system is being used.

Autopilot, despite its name, is a driver assistance system and requires drivers to be alert and have their hands on the steering wheel, meaning abuses of the system can be identified if there's a crash.