One Model S owner complained to NHTSA yesterday that his wife took the car for a drive over the weekend and, as she was leaving the driveway, "the car suddenly accelerated. It hit a curb and the middle portion of the car landed on a 4.5-foot high vertical retaining wall." The question is why, and the complaint alleges that even though a Tesla engineer told the owner that the accelerator has a built-in safeguard to stop it from going above 92 percent, the records show that the pedal was depressed and the car, "accelerated from 18 percent to 100 percent in split second." The owner denies that his wife stepped all the way down on the pedal.
We have contacted Tesla for comment but have not yet heard back. We will update this post if we do. Until then, you can read the entire complaint (#10545230) below.
*UPDATE: Tesla would not give any specific comment on this complaint, but did tell AutoblogGreen that, "Tesla takes vehicle safety very seriously and are looking into this."
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM , ENGINE , SERVICE BRAKES
Date of Incident: 09/21/2013
NHTSA ID Number: 10545230
The car was going at about 5 mph going down a short residential driveway. Brake was constantly applied. The car suddenly accelerated. It hit a curb and the middle portion of the car landed on a 4.5 ft high vertical retaining wall. The wall is one foot away from the curb. The front portion of the car was hanging up in the air. The car was at about 45 degree up and about 20 degree tilted toward the right side. An engineer from Tesla said the record showed the accelerating pedal was stepped on and it accelerated from 18% to 100% in split second. He blamed my wife stepping on the accelerating pedal. But he also said there was a built-in safe-guard that the accelerator couldnot go beyond 92%. The statements are contradictory. If there is a safeguard that the accelerator cannot go beyound 92%, there would be no way that my wife could step on it 100%. There were some mechanical problem that caused the accelerator to accelerate on its own from 18% to 100% in split second.