In a surprising incident, actress, and singer Jamie Lynn Spears has accused Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk of killing cats. In a video on Instagram, Spears stated that the American millionaire's electric vehicle and clean energy company owed her a "couple" of new pet cats.
Spears, who is also the sister of pop singer Britney Spears, accused Tesla of being a veritable "cat killer" and that Tesla cars killed her cats, who never heard the cars coming. This is presumably due to the fact that the electric Tesla cars are quieter than other gas-powered vehicles.
In the video that has since been deleted, Spears said, "We have now lost — I don't 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".
Spears also suggested that Tesla update its cars with warning sounds for animals that help strays and pets locate incoming cars. She stresses that it's a problem that people now needed to talk about. Others poked fun at Spears for the bizarre claim.
Though the video has since been deleted, it has been preserved on the internet and has since gone viral. But instead of the reactions Spears had perhaps hoped for, many on the internet blamed the singer for negligence. Critics of the accusations against Tesla claimed that the singer has "killed several cats" and was now trying to cover by blaming Tesla for it.
I’m sorry but nothing will discract me today from the fact that Jamie Lynn Spears thinks it’s Tesla’s fault that she’s a serial cat killer.— casa d'funk (@tangentialform) January 16, 2021
2ND HAND EMBARRASSMENT: Jamie Lynn Spears blames Elon Musk for the death of her cats. She says she’s lost count of how many cats she’s killed because Teslas are too quiet. She ends saying Elon owes her a couple of cats. pic.twitter.com/cvdyAnotTq— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) January 18, 2021
Not Jamie Lynn Spears losing track of how many of her cats she's killed with her Tesla — Maricuh ☭ (@pan_con_chumpe) January 16, 2021
Following outrage from Tesla fans and widespread trolling following Spears' claims, the singer posted a kind of retraction on Instagram, in which she claimed that she had not run over any cats. She also stated that "user error was admittedly involved" and that Tesla was "not to be blamed" for cat deaths. The second Instagram post has also been deleted now.
While Tesla has not yet responded to the controversy, it seems that Spears was not far off when she demanded Tesla add warning sounds for animals. September 2020 onwards, electric cars such as Tesla are mandated by American law to emit sounds as loud as 43 decibels at least at speeds less than 18.6 miles per hour. The move, which came from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was not intended to aid animals, however, but visually impaired pedestrians.