Tesla says unintended acceleration claims are 'completely false'

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Tesla just rejected any notion that its cars are prone to unintended acceleration. In a blog post, the EV maker claimed that a petition describing unexpected acceleration was "completely false" and the product of a "Tesla short-seller" hoping to make a quick buck. Every case where Tesla had a car's data showed that the car worked as intended, the company said. Moreover, Tesla claimed that its system was designed to avoid these problems. All it models have two pedal position sensors, and "any error" defaults to shutting off motor torque. It even uses the Autopilot sensors to catch potential pedal misuse and cut torque to prevent accidents.

The firm added that it was "transparent" with the NHTSA, and regularlyshared complaints of unintended acceleration with the agency. It shared the "majority" of the complaints from the petition and found no faults.

This doesn't appear to address every report of surprise acceleration, some of which are baffling if true -- a Model 3 lurching out of a parking spot, for example. With that said, it's apparent that Tesla is very confident about the safety of its vehicles (justified or otherwise), and that anyone levelling allegations of safety issues will have to bring strong evidence if they hope to get a response. In other words, the chances of a Toyota-style recall and settlement aren't very high.