Tesla Fights New Claims of 'Unintended Acceleration' Following Fatal Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into several cases of unintended acceleration.
Chris Young

Tesla faces new claims that its cars are accelerating spontaneously after a number of accidents were reported in China. One such recent accident resulted in two deaths and several people injured. 

Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it was looking into the problem of "sudden unintended acceleration" after receiving a petition citing 127 claimed incidents.


Several claims of unintended acceleration have been made over the years, perhaps the most high-profile of which was the case of a South Korean celebrity claiming his Tesla Model X accelerated and crashed into his own garage — though Tesla claims that driver data shows the driver was pressing the accelerator at the time, as Elektrek reported at the time.

Tesla has continuously denied cases of unintended acceleration, saying that the accidents were due to user mistakes caused by the driver pressing the accelerator instead of the brakes.

As Tesla stores huge amounts of user driver data, which can even show whether the driver has their hands on the wheel at any given time, the company says it has proof against these allegations.

In fact, following the NHTSA investigation, Tesla issued a statement on January 20, 2020 titled "there is no "unintended acceleration" in Tesla vehicles", in which it claimed that the petition with NHTSA was started by a TSLA short seller.

Now, Tesla is facing four new claims of unintended acceleration in China, the most recent of which comes from Nanchong City where two people are reported to have been killed:

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Though Tesla has yet to have the results of the investigation for the Nanchong fatal accident, it did release findings for one of the other claims from June, in which it claimed that it was a user error and that "data retrieved from the vehicle in Nanchang only showed signs of stepping on the accelerator and none of stepping on the brake," Yicai Global reports.

Meanwhile, the NHTSA is yet to release the results of its investigation of "unintended acceleration" claims against the electric vehicle manufacturer.

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