Tesla is facing a new investigation as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it will look into concerns surrounding instances of unintended acceleration reported by those who own the Model S, Model X and Model 3. According to CNET.com, in documents filed Jan. 13, the NHTSA said it got a defect petition on Dec. 19, 2019, requesting the agency to open an investigation into Tesla electric cars.
Investigation Details and Tesla’s Response
The NHTSA investigation covers the 2012-2019 Model S, 2016-2019 Model X and the 2018-2019 Model 3 vehicles. Consumer complaints allege the Tesla vehicles suddenly and unintentionally accelerated, whether due to a malfunction or driver error. NHTSA cites 127 complaints that include 123 unique vehicles. Of the complaints, 110 mention crashes and 52 mention injuries due to the alleged acceleration issue.
Tesla responded to the announcement of this investigation in a blog post saying there is “no unintended acceleration in Tesla vehicles.” The three-paragraph response refers to the petition that started the NHTSA probe as “completely false” and alleges that it was introduced by a “short seller” or a person who has financial positions that bet against Tesla’s continued stock-market success. Tesla says it has vehicle data to support its position.
Furthermore, the automaker says how the vehicles are engineered makes it difficult for sudden or unintended acceleration to occur. All three models have two sensors that cut off the torque from the electric motor if an issue is discovered. The blog post says that pressing both pedals will cause the brake to override the accelerator, prohibiting motion and that any “sustained braking” will be guaranteed to stop the car.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Sudden acceleration is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. When there is sudden or unintended vehicle acceleration, the vehicle can lurch forward and crash with other vehicles or stationary objects. Such car accidents could also injure pedestrians, bicyclists or others on the roadway.
We trust NHTSA will conduct a thorough investigation and force a recall if there are issues with these vehicles, as consumers allege. If you or a loved one has been injured due to sudden or unintended acceleration in a Tesla vehicle, please get in touch with an experienced auto defect lawyer who can provide more information about pursuing your legal rights.