Tesla is under investigation after 127 complaints were sent to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) claiming certain models experienced ‘sudden unintended acceleration’.
The vehicles in question include the Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X that were made and sold from 2013 through to 2019 -amounting to nearly 500,000 cars.
The flaw is said to have caused 110 crashes and 52 injuries, with many drivers stating the incident occurred when they attempted to park in a garage or at a curb.
Others claimed the sudden acceleration happened while in traffic or when using driver assistance systems.
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.’
‘In support of his request, the petitioner cited 127 consumer complaints to NHTSA involving 123 unique vehicles.’
‘The reports include 110 crashes and 52 injuries. A copy of the petition will be added to the public file for this defect petition and ODI will evaluate the petitioner’s allegations to determine if the petition should be granted or denied.’
In one complaint, a driver said a 2015 Tesla Model S 85D in California was closed and locked when he claimed ‘a few moments later the vehicle started accelerating forward towards the street and crashed into a parked car.’
A Tesla driver in Avondale, Pennsylvania, was pulling into a parking spot at an elementary school when the vehicle accelerated on its own, the complaint said adding: ‘It went over a curb and into a chain link fence.’
Another complaint said a Tesla driver in Andover, Massachusetts was approaching her garage door ‘when the car suddenly lurched forward: and ‘went through the garage door destroying two garage doors.’
The Tesla stopped when it hit the garage’s concrete wall.
In October, the agency said it was reviewing whether Tesla should have recalled 2,000 of its electric cars in May instead of issuing a software upgrade to fix a potential defect that could have resulted in battery fires in Model S and Model X vehicles from the 2012-2019 model years.
Three years ago, news spread of a brand-new Tesla Model X SUV when it suddenly accelerated at ‘maximum speed’ by itself, jumped a curb and slammed into the side of a shopping mall.
The owner of the Model X, Puzant Ozbag, said the vehicle was only five days old and his wife, who was behind the wheel at the time of the incident, had not activated any self-driving features at the time of the crash.
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.
Walter Huang was traveling down the road when his vehicle suddenly accelerated a few seconds before the crash while driving in autopilot.