Accident investigator pushing NHTSA to order recall of all Tesla cars produced after 2013 due to unintended acceleration

Tesla is dealing with a call for an extensive recall that stretches back to 2013. The issue, reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by an accident investigator, concerns unintended acceleration.

Greece-based engineer Costas Lakafossis sent the petition to the NHTSA. He claimed that all Tesla cars lack an essential feature and particular Autopilot features that could increase the likelihood of drivers making mistakes when pressing the pedals, which is a technical way of describing unintended acceleration.

Lakafossis’ petition affects all Tesla cars with Autopilot. Some of the driver assist package features can take over the car and complete tasks such as stopping the car and going into reverse without the driver’s intervention.

Part of Lakafossis’ petition reads, “It has been proven beyond any doubt that the BTSI [Brake Transmission Shift Interlock] feature of automatic gearboxes of the ’80s has successfully mitigated the risk of SUA [sudden unintended acceleration] during start-up and successfully trained millions of drivers to always press the brake pedal before moving off,” as reported by Car Buzz

BTSI is only mandatory in the US for vehicles with an automatic gearbox with a “park” position.

Lakafossis continued, “There is absolutely no need and no reason behind the decision to allow the driver to select reverse gear and wait for the car to stop by itself, and then reverse without ever pressing the brake pedal. This is not an oversight but a feature, a choice that puts marketing before safety.”

The investigator claims automatic braking should be included as a safety feature, not merely as an added comfort. He also denounced features encouraging drivers to interact less with the pedals as they are a recipe for bad driving habits.

While Lakafossis suggested solutions, it is not likely he would succeed in triggering a recall.

Meanwhile, the NHTSA has opened an investigation into a Tesla crash with a pedestrian in North Carolina.

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