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Tesla Model S crashes into a gym, driver claims autonomous acceleration, Tesla says driver’s fault


Back in June, we reported on a peculiar accident in Irvine, California, where a Tesla Model X suddenly accelerated in a parking and ended up crashing into a building. Fortunately, no one was injured during the event. What was particularly interesting about the accident is that the driver claimed the vehicle accelerated on its own. Tesla reviewed the logs and claimed that the accelerator pedal was pressed.

Now we learn of another extremely similar accident that happened in Florida last month, but with a Tesla Model S instead of a Model X and it was caught on camera this time.

What is known for a fact based on video evidence is that on August 9, 2016, a Tesla Model S was parking in front of a gym in Lighthouse Point, Florida, and then suddenly accelerated and crashed into the front door.

No one was injured during the accident, but it was a near miss since someone entered the gym through the front door, which was destroyed, just seconds before the crash.

Here’s a GIF of the accident:tesla-gym-crash-1

The rest of the information is based on what the owner of the vehicle, the husband of the driver, and Tesla are saying.

In a post on Tesla’s forum that has since been removed, the Model S owner described the accident:

“I have owned several Model S Tesla’s and currently own 1 P85D and 1 P90D. Recently, my wife experienced a near fatal accident when she was slowly parking at her gym. The car violently exploded into full acceleration and could have easily killed people in the gym.”

Here’s a GIF of the aftermath of the crash:tesla-gym-crash-2

We’ve reached out to Tesla and they confirmed having reviewed the logs and that it shows that the accelerator pedal was pressed during the accident.

The owner of the vehicle continued in the post that has since been removed:

“I am amazed and wildly disappointed by the way Tesla has handled this and their complete unwillingness to even talk to me about it. Of course, they immediately blamed it on the driver and claimed their online computer tells them that.”

He continues by admitting that a driver mistake is a possibility, but they don’t believe it was the issue here:

“Of course, it is possible that there could have been driver error, but we do not feel that is what has occurred and wanted to have it looked further into.”

The owner of the Model X involved in the accident in Irvine in June had similar complaints. He said that Tesla was quick to place the blame with the driver based on the logs and that no one at Tesla came to physically inspect the vehicle.

Some pictures of the aftermath:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 16,000 crashes occurring each year in the US due to drivers mistaking the accelerator for the brake pedal. It’s far from being a rare event, but the drivers in those two accidents insist that the vehicles accelerated on their own.

We have been looking into several other claims of unintended sudden acceleration events with Tesla vehicles and we should have a new report coming up shortly.

In the meantime, a Tesla spokesperson assured us that there’s no defect:

“Tesla’s cars do not accelerate without the driver instructing it to do so. In every situation where we have received a customer claim about this, the vehicle’s diagnostic logs have confirmed that the acceleration was the result of the driver pressing the accelerator pedal.”

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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