NHTSA Finds No Evidence Of Tesla Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Crashes have been caused by pedal misapplication. Case closed.

After reviewing roughly 662,000 Tesla cars (Model S 2013-2019, Model X 2016-2019 and Model 3 2017-2019), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found no defect or evidence of sudden unintended acceleration.

It basically clears the manufacturer from suspicions that the car can accelerate on its own and crash.

The NHTSA has received tons of data from various incidents (see Defect Petition DP20-001, opened from January 13, 2020–January 8, 2021), but the evaluation of material did not support the claims.

According to the NHTSA, in every instance in which event data was available for review, crashes were caused by pedal misapplication.

“After reviewing the available data, ODI has not identified evidence that would support opening a defect investigation into SUA in the subject vehicles. 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. 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.”

NHTSA denied the petition, requesting to “recall all [Tesla] Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles produced from 2013 to the present” due to sudden unintended acceleration.


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