Government Investigates Teslas That Accelerated on Their Own

Government Investigates Teslas That Accelerated on Their Own

A 2019 Tesla Model S

Turns out drivers aren’t the only safety hazard for semi-autonomous vehicles – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing a petition to recall 500,000 Teslas over automatic acceleration issues.

We’ve mentioned before that smart cars aren’t smart enough to save us from ourselves (yet) -- back in March of 2018, an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian when the vehicle was in “computer mode” and the “safety driver” was streaming a TV show.

But these new Tesla claims are anything but ID10T errors. The petition collects a litany of stories, including one where a Tesla using its automatic parking system suddenly accelerated backwards. In another case, a Tesla Model 3 lurched forward while the driver’s foot was on the brakes.

According to Reuters, the petition covers the Tesla Model S (model years 2012-2019), Tesla Model X (2016-2019), and the Tesla Model 3 (2018-2019), with “127 consumer complaints to NHTSA involving 123 unique vehicles. The reports include 110 crashes and 52 injuries,” says the NHTSA.

The NHTSA stated that “Tesla vehicles experience unintended acceleration at rates far exceeding other cars on the roads,” though for their part, Tesla called the claims in the petition “completely false.”

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