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NHTSA reopens investigation into Tesla unintended acceleration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reopened its investigation into allegations of unintentional speeding by Tesla in response to a petition.

The investigation covers nearly every Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y built, including about 1.8 million vehicles in the United States. This is a reversal of NHTSA’s previous decision to reject a call for further investigation into unintended acceleration in Tesla electric vehicles following an owner complaint.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

The decision to continue the investigation was in response to a petition from Ronald Belt of Plymouth, Minnesota, which stated that new information on the inverter design, due to recent incidents by hobbyists, has allowed for a better understanding. more about component functionality.

Based on this information, the lawsuit alleges a design flaw in the inverter that allows intermittently higher currents to flow through the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system. This sudden additional voltage drop could be triggered by a need for additional power from an accessory, such as power steering, and would not be identified by Tesla’s diagnostic system as a fault, the lawsuit claims. dad.

2023 Tesla Model S - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2023 Tesla Model S – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Initial petition for NHTSA Investigate Tesla’s unintended acceleration was filed in January 2020 and rejected by the agency a year later. Tesla in January 2020 called that allegation “Completely wrong,” and went so far as to create a blog post on this issue. In that post, Tesla said the brake pedal will always override the gas pedal, but it doesn’t really address the alleged problem here.

Claims of unintended acceleration can be difficult to prove. Tesla has gone into vehicle data in the past to refute the claim about unintended acceleration during a collision. And in some past models—including Toyota Prius—it was found to be due to a simple pedal misuse. Could this be any different?


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