Tesla is facing new claims of cars accelerating by themselves after several accidents in China — especially a recent one that resulted in two deaths and several people injured.
Earlier this year, we reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that it is looking into claims that Tesla vehicles have a defect leading to “sudden unintended acceleration” after receiving a petition citing 127 claimed incidents.
As we stated at the time, several claims of sudden unintended acceleration involving Tesla vehicles have been made public over the years. The most publicized one involved a South Korean celebrity claiming his Model X accelerated on its own into his garage.
However, in every case, including that one, Tesla claimed that the car’s log showed that it was a user mistake due to pedal misapplication, meaning that the driver pressed on the accelerator instead of the brakes.
In one case, Electrek was able to have Tesla’s log verified by a third party, and it supported the automaker’s claims that it showed the driver pressed on the accelerator.
Following the NHTSA investigation, Tesla issued a statement claiming that there are no defects in its vehicles resulting in unintended acceleration, and that the petition with NHTSA was started by a TSLA short seller.
Now Tesla is facing a similar problem in China after a Model 3 ran into a crowd in Nanchong last week resulting in two deaths and six people injured.
A video of the aftermath emerged on social media:
Tesla is reportedly working with the authorities to determine the cause of the accident.
Since the accident, several other reports of unintended acceleration involving Tesla vehicles have emerged in China.
Yicai Global reports:
There have been four accidents involving ‘out of control’ Tesla vehicles in China since June, each caused by an ‘unexpected acceleration’ of the auto.
Tesla has yet to have the results of the investigation for the Nanchong fatal accident, but it did release findings for one of the other claims from June, and said that it had evidence that it was a user error:
The car maker has yet to accept these allegations. Data retrieved from the vehicle in Nanchang only showed signs of stepping on the accelerator and none of stepping on the brake, Tesla China said. There were no brake slid marks on the road, suggesting that the driver accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake, it added.
As for the NHTSA investigation, the agency has yet to release the results.
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