Friday, 08 January 2021 20:03

Tesla Cleared in NHTSA Investigation Over Claims of ‘Sudden Acceleration’

Written by Joey Klender, Teslarati


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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has closed a review of 662,000 Tesla electric vehicles after finding no defects that caused sudden acceleration.

The NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation released an Office of Defections Investigation (ODI) resume Jan. 8, showing a petition that “alleges that the subject vehicles contain a defect that can cause sudden unintended acceleration, which may result in crash and injury” had no basis.


The petition was originally opened Dec. 19, 2019, by Brian Sparks. Sparks requested the NHTSA “recall all [Tesla] Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles produced from 2013 to the present due to sudden unintended acceleration (SUA),” NHTSA documents show.


After reviewing data from Tesla, ODI and NHTSA failed to find any evidence that would support a probe into Tesla that would support sudden acceleration claims.


“After reviewing the available data, ODI has not identified evidence that would support opening a defect investigation into SUA in the subject vehicles," NHTSA wrote. "In every instance in which event data was available for review by ODI, the evidence shows that SUA crashes in the complaints cited by the petitioner have been caused by pedal misapplication.


"There is no evidence of any fault in the accelerator pedal assemblies, motor control systems or brake systems that has contributed...

...to any of the cited incidents," NHTSA continued. "There is no evidence of a design factor contributing to increased likelihood of pedal misapplication.


"The theory provided of a potential electronic cause of SUA in the subject vehicles is based upon inaccurate assumptions about system design and log data.”


Claims against Tesla alleging sudden acceleration have been debunked in the past as well. Owner Jason Hughes showed in January 2020 some drivers are guilty of applying pressure to the wrong pedal. When they mean to brake, they accidentally hit the accelerator.


“I’ve almost made a pedal misapplication mistake several times in the past with multiple different vehicles… fortunately not in any catastrophic situation," Hughes said. "We’re not infallible creatures. You get in a zone of habit, feel like you know what’s going on, and when something unexpected happens you’ll swear you were doing everything normally the way you’ve done it 10,000 times before, when in reality you just screwed up. It happens."


Tesla also released a statement Jan. 20, 2020, claiming the sudden acceleration issues were false. It seems the automaker was right, as the NHTSA is scrapping any possibility of an investigation moving forward.


We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.


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