NHTSA could investigate 500,000 Teslas for unintended acceleration

NHTSA could investigate 500,000 Teslas for unintended acceleration”

Those vehicles include the 2012-2019 Tesla Model S, 2016-2019 Tesla Model X, and 2018-2019 Tesla Model 3.

This latest NHTSA petition cites 127 consumer complaints involving 123 unique Tesla vehicles.

"NHTSA has received a defect petition regarding claims of sudden unintended acceleration in certain Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles", an NHTSA spokesperson told The Drive. For now, NHTSA will review the findings and decide whether or not to open a formal defect investigation. NHTSA's Toyota investigation blamed the incidents on floor mats that could become lodged under the accelerator and a design flaw that could cause the pedal to stick.

Tesla did not comment to Reuters on the report. Another crash in CT also is under investigation.

"The sheer number of complaints would certainly catch my eye", said Borris, who now runs an auto safety consulting business.

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

Some of the unintended acceleration complaints, which have yet to be verified by NHTSA, allege that the cars' electronics malfunctioned.

Numerous complaints report sudden acceleration incidents during attempts to park vehicles in a garage or at a curb. "It is clear that Tesla has the data and is aware of the problem", Sparks wrote.

The muted market reaction likely stemmed from the preliminary state of NHTSA's review combined with regulators' lax approach to Tesla so far, according to Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.

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

In another crash, in May of 2013, the owner of a Model S sedan in Thousand Oaks, California, complained that while pulling into a parking spot, the vehicle suddenly accelerated on its own. When slowly pulling into a parking space, the consumer's 2017 Model S experienced "uncontrollable acceleration" that resulted in cracked ribs and $18,000 in property damage. The air bags inflated, but no one was hurt, the complaint said.

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.

Although not listed as an incident in the petition, a Tesla Model X crashed on Highway 1010 in Mountain View back in March 2018 that left one dead. The driver was using Autopilot at the time of the crash. The company contends that Teslas with Autopilot are safer than vehicles without it, but cautions that the system does not prevent all crashes. Fourteen of these cases involved Tesla models. SUA has been blamed for many crashes and deaths involving vehicles from many different manufacturers over the years.

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