Tesla denies “unintended acceleration” flaw: Blames an old enemy

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 20, 2020, 3:28 pm CST
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Tesla denies “unintended acceleration” flaw: Blames an old enemy

Tesla has issued a statement denying recent claims that some of its electric vehicles have accelerated unexpectedly. The issue, the company says, is a familiar one: accidentally pressing the accelerator. The company says that its explanation is backed up by data from cars, explaining how the sensors in its vehicles help work to prevent these types of accidents; in some cases, even preventing ones that would result from accidentally hitting the accelerator.

READ: Tesla owners demand “sudden unintended acceleration” investigation

Last week, the NHTSA revealed that it has received a petition from a Tesla vehicle owner who seeks an investigation into claims that some Tesla EVs may experience ‘unintended acceleration.’

Reports of this alleged issue vary, with some saying it happened while pulling into a parking space, a garage, and — in one case — supposedly happening when there wasn’t a driver in the vehicle.

In a statement published on Monday, Tesla directly said that there is “no ‘unintended acceleration’ in” its vehicles. The company goes on to claim that “this petition is completely false and was brought on by a Tesla short-seller.” The company says that it investigates every report it gets from a driver claiming that their car ‘accelerated contrary to their input.’

In every case in which there is vehicle data available, according to Tesla, its investigation finds that ‘the car operated as designed.’ Put simply, Tesla says that its cars will only accelerate if the driver tells it to. Beyond that, the company explains that it put two independent sensors on the Model S/X/3 accelerators and that any error will cause the system to cut off the motor torque.

Beyond that, hitting the brake pedal in a Tesla will stop the car even if the accelerator is also pressed. Furthermore, Tesla explains, its Autopilot sensor suite can help the car determine whether the driver has accidentally pressed the accelerator in order to cut off the motor torque and help prevent an accident.


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