The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it would not approve a petition to review 662,000 Tesla vehicles for Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) because there is no reason to do so. The evidence shows that SUA crashes in the complaints cited by the petitioner have been caused by pedal misapplication.
The NHTSA stated that in reviewing the December 2019 petition, it was found that the incidents were caused by the drivers and “were caused by pedal misapplication.” After inspecting the vehicle, the U.S. auto safety regulator found no evidence that the pedals or other vehicle parts were faulty.
"There is no evidence of any fault in the accelerator pedal assemblies, motor control systems, or brake systems that has contributed to any of the cited incidents. There is no evidence of a design factor contributing to increased likelihood of pedal misapplication."
On December 19, 2019, NHTSA received a petition from Brian Sparks requesting that the Agency "recall all [Tesla] Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles produced from 2013 to the present" due to sudden unintended acceleration (SUA). In his petition and follow-up submissions, the petitioner identified a total of 232 non-duplicative complaints to NHTSA, including 203 reporting crashes.
On January 13, 2020, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened Defect Petition DP20-001 to evaluate the petitioner's request. ODI's evaluation included reviews of all complaints and supporting information referenced by the petitioner, as well as 14 additional complaints to NHTSA related to SUA crash allegations that were either not selected by the petitioner or were submitted after the petitioner's most recent submission. The review also included analyzes of available crash data (EDR, Tesla log data, and/or video data) the Agency acquired as part of the evaluation.
"Since the information before the Agency is not indicative of a vehicle-based defect, it is unlikely that any investigation opened because of granting this petition would result in an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect. Therefore, upon full consideration of the information presented in the petition and the potential risks to safety, the petition is denied."
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
We appreciate your readership! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.