Tesla ‘Phantom Braking’ leads to new class action lawsuit

Two Tesla owners in North Carolina have filed a class action lawsuit against Tesla claiming their vehicles suffer from a brake defect, otherwise known as ‘phantom braking.’ The lawsuit alleges the automaker has been aware of the defect for years but continues to sell their cars to buyers.

The lawsuit was filed by Michael Costello, a Tesla Model 3 owner, and Megan Colonel, a Tesla Model Y owner, and claims that they have both experienced sudden, unintended braking events on “several occasions.”

Referring to it as a defect, the lawsuit goes on to claim that these phantom braking events are a safety hazard and makes Tesla cars “unreasonably dangerous to consumers because it severely impacts a driver’s ability to control vehicle speed as expected under normal driving conditions and maintain an appropriate speed based on traffic flow, thereby increasing the risk of a rear-end collision,” reports WRAL News.

According to the lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on January 9 2023, Costello and Colonel would not have bought their Teslas had they known about the alleged issue, or that they would have paid less had they been aware. The suit also claims the sudden unintended braking has “significantly diminished the value” of their vehicles.

This is not the first class action lawsuit filed against Tesla over phantom braking. Last year a San Francisco man filed his lawsuit against Tesla in which he describes the sudden unintended braking as “frightening” and “dangerous.”

However, that case is no longer active as Toledo filed a Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice just over one month after initiating the lawsuit.

The case is Costello et al v. Tesla, Inc. et al, Case Number 5:2023cv00006. Tesla, Inc, Tesla Lease Trust, and Tesla Finance LLC are all listed as defendants.

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