The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said this week it will begin evaluating a petition and possibly launch a formal probe based on reports of sudden and unintended acceleration in Tesla vehicles.
The investigation would involve every single Tesla vehicle produced since 2012 (2012-2019 Model S, 2016-2019 Model X, and 2018-2019 Model 3).
The petition that prompted the review referenced “127 consumer complaints…involving 123 unique vehicles” that resulted in 110 crashes and 52 injuries. It also stated that “Tesla vehicles experience unintended acceleration at rates far exceeding other cars on the roads.” The petition also cited media reports and complaints filed with the NHTSA.
While this might make good headlines for those who want Tesla to fail (think legacy automakers, oil and gas industries, $TSLAQ etc.), one only has to take a glance at the complaints filed to the NHTSA to realize that anyone can make any kind of complaint about any kind of car, with apparently no oversight.
Here are a few examples of complaints filed with the NHTSA about various Tesla vehicles. As you can see, some of the complaints are about cars are not even owned by them, or even from the same country. You can just find a picture of a Tesla in a junkyard in Australia, speculate about what might have happened, and file a complaint about it. You can even just say it was “WHOMPY”.
After seeing these, it is not hard to imagine that there are some people with bad intentions hiding behind their computer screens filing false complaints about Tesla vehicles to the NHTSA, all in an effort to see the company fail.
It is also important to note that Tesla vehicles have acceleration unlike any other car on the market. With 0-60mph times getting as low as 2-3 seconds, the affect of accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake in a Tesla is magnified because of the instant torque and acceleration.
If there truly is a defect of unintended acceleration, hopefully this investigation will uncover it and fix it. If not, then hopefully this issue will finally be laid to rest and the critics will once again be proven wrong.