Tesla owners demand "sudden unintended acceleration" investigation

Model 3 Performance Wrecks 911 Carerra S Acceleration Test

That's because it covers Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles from the 2013 through to the 2019 model years.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration opened an investigation of sorts into the matter on Monday. The driver alleged that something in Tesla's system "triggered the sudden spontaneously full acceleration, resulting in this collision".

He said the timing of the petition is good, because the agency needs to do a "deeper dive" into Tesla safety.

The NHTSA defines "sudden acceleration incidents" as 'unintended, unexpected, high-power accelerations from a stationary position or a very low initial speed accompanied by an apparent loss of braking effectiveness'.

The petition was received by the NHTSA reads: 'On December 19, 2019, the Office of Defects Investigation received a defect petition by email requesting a defect investigation of alleged sudden unintended acceleration in model year 2012 through 2019 Tesla Model S, MY 2016 through 2019 Tesla Model X, and MY 2018 through 2019 Tesla Model 3 vehicles'.

Frank Borris, a former head of safety defect investigations for NHTSA, said the number of complaints cited in the petition is unusual and warrants further investigation. A Californian reported exiting and locking their Tesla Model S 85D before "the vehicle started accelerating forward towards the street and crashed into a parked auto".

The SUV hit a parked vehicle, the air bags inflated and the owner had a large abdominal bruise and several small chest bruises, according to the complaint.


"NHTSA encourages the public to contact the agency with safety concerns, including any related to these vehicles, online at NHTSA.gov or by calling 888-327-4236". "All complaints are reviewed", the NHTSA confirms.

Incidents include drivers suddenly experiencing their vehicle surging forward when they pull into their driveway, drivers accelerating while pulling onto highways and even cars thrown off the road by the sudden surge.

For Tesla owners, it would pay to keep close tabs on how your vehicle is operating, though it's too soon to make any conclusion about the safety of these cars.

The Model S went over a parking block and a curb and struck a cement light post.

"As is the agency's standard practice in such matters, NHTSA will carefully review the petition and relevant data", the agency said in a statement.

The crash is the 14th involving Tesla that NHTSA's special crash investigation program has taken up in which it suspects the company's so-called Autopilot or other advanced driver assistance system was in use.

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