In brief: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing a petition alleging that select Tesla vehicles contain a defect that causes sudden, unintended acceleration that can result in a crash and injury.
Per the summary information, the alleged defect pertains to model year 2012 through 2019 Tesla Model S vehicles, 2016 through 2019 Tesla Model X vehicles and 2018 through 2019 Tesla Model 3 vehicles. The petitioner cited 127 consumer complaints involving 123 different vehicles, of which 110 resulted in crashes and 52 injuries were sustained.
Reuters said Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
The publication also highlights several of the individual complaints. In one instance, a driver of a 2015 Tesla Model S 85D in California said the vehicle was closed and locked and “a few moments later the vehicle started accelerating forward towards the street and crashed into a parked car.”
In another complaint, a driver from Pennsylvania said they were pulling into a parking spot at an elementary school when their Tesla suddenly accelerated on its own, jumping a curb and crashing into a chain link fence.
Unsurprisingly, lots in the media are skeptical of the claims against Tesla. Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban said he would be surprised if anything comes of the petition, and even cited an older case involving elderly drivers confusing pedals in their Toyotas. Electrek also points to previous instances where Tesla has presented evidence (car logs) showing user error (the person pressed the wrong pedal) as the culprit in similar cases.
What are your thoughts? Does Tesla genuinely have a problem on its hands or is this little more than people being too proud to admit that they screwed up and accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake?