According to a complaint filed with federal safety regulators, unintended acceleration problems in Tesla’s Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles have resulted 110 accidents, leaving at least 52 people injured.
Details of the Tesla Unintended Acceleration Complaint
According to CNN, the complaint was filed on December 19 but was not posted to the public until Friday. The complaint says the problem has occurred in 127 different Tesla cars resulting in at least 110 crashes.
The names of the parties bringing the complaint have not been disclosed, but many of the instances of unintended acceleration seem to have occurred while parking Tesla vehicles or pulling a Tesla vehicle out of a parking space.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it is currently reviewing the allegations against Tesla and will decide whether to open an official defect investigation based on the evidence gathered.
Unintended acceleration has been an issue in various vehicles in the past. One of the most memorable occurred in 2009 and 2010 when Toyota recalled 6.5 million vehicles for unintended acceleration. 2.3 million were recalled for a manufacturer defect that could cause gas pedals to stick, and 4.2 million were recalled because the pedals could become stuck under loose floor mats.
At the time, Toyota’s unintended acceleration recall were the largest vehicle recall in history. The automaker even stopped selling eight models of its vehicles as it struggled to resolve the defect.
What Tesla Vehicles Have Experienced Unintended Acceleration?
According to complaints, the following Tesla vehicles have experienced unintended acceleration:
- 2012-2019 Tesla Model S
- 2016-2019 Tesla Model X
- 2018-2019 Tesla Model 3
If deemed necessary, NHTSA will issue a recall for roughly 500,000 Tesla cars from the above model-years.
Common Causes of Unintended Vehicle Acceleration
Sudden and unintended acceleration is not a new issue. As far back as the 1980’s, unintended acceleration in Audi 5000 vehicles were linked to roughly 700 accidents and 6 deaths. Since then, major recalls related to unintended acceleration have occurred every few years.
Among the most commonly cited causes of unintended vehicle acceleration are:
- Pedal misapplication
- Unresponsive or entrapped pedals
- Electronic throttle control or cruise control failure
- Stuck throttle
- Shorting of tin whiskers (a phenomenon where electrical devices form what look like long whisker-like projections over time)
- Diesel engine runway (occurs when excessive pressure in the crank cases forces a mist of engine lubricant into the intake manifold)
How to Deal with Unintended Acceleration
Unintended acceleration can be a horrifying and potentially tragic event. One of the biggest problems with unintended acceleration is that it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of the problem – an issue that is exacerbated by the dire circumstance of your vehicle’s ever increasing speed.
When inadvertent acceleration does occur, there are steps you can take to get your vehicle back under your control.
- Hit the Brakes – This will likely be your first reaction, and is typically the first attempt you should take when addressing unintended acceleration. According to Car and Driver, well maintained brakes can overpower even the most efficient engines. In a test involving a Toyota Camry pinned at 70 mph, brakes were able to stop the speeding vehicle in about 190 feet.
- Shift to Neutral or Park – Car and Driver considers this the best option if your situation is an emergency (i.e. you do not have 190 feet to fight against your engine). Shifting into neutral or park keeps the engine power from reaching your wheels while allowing you to keep vital safety features like power steering, power brakes, and airbags.
- Turn off the Vehicle – While this will certainly stop the acceleration, it will also deprive you have numerous features making your vehicle much more difficult to maneuver. As such, this should only be considered as a last resort. It is also important to note that many “push to start/stop” will require a longer press to shut off the vehicle while it is in motion. This is a safety design meant to prevent vehicles from cutting of power after an inadvertent touch.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident Caused by Unintended Acceleration in a Tesla Vehicle?
If you have been involved in a crash caused by you Tesla vehicle inadvertently speeding up, contact Thomas J. Henry Law. Our experienced auto recall attorneys have the knowledge and resources to pursue your case aggressively and effectively.
Thomas J. Henry Law made national headlines in 2014 when it spearheaded litigation against General Motors for faulty ignition switches resulting in numerous crashes, injures, and deaths. Thomas J. Henry worked directly with U.S. senators and GM’s lawyer, Ken Feinberg, to establish a victims’ compensation fund to compensate the victims and families affected by defective GM vehicles.
Contact us today for your free case evaluation. Attorneys are available to assist you 24/7, nights and weekends.