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Tesla Model S Unintended Acceleration Complaint Filed With NHTSA

Toyota’s well-known issues with unintended acceleration (whatever the actual root cause) gave the company headaches and cost it millions of dollars for years–in fact, it’s still recovering its reputation for safety and reliability. Now Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] may be on the cusp of facing a similar situation if a new complaint proves true.

The Complaint

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a complaint report about a Tesla Model S that accelerated out of a residential driveway and onto a 4.5-foot retaining wall while the brake was fully applied.

According to the complaint record, the owner contacted Tesla, and an engineer stated that the “accelerating pedal was stepped on and it accelerated from 18% to 100% in split second” (sic). The complaint then goes on to state that the engineer also claimed the existence of a “built-in safe-guard that the accelerator could not go beyond 92%. The statements are contradictory.”

The complaint was filed on September 24, 2013. According to the VIN number in the complaint’s details, the Model S is an 85-kWh 2013 model built at the Fremont plant.


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