U.S. to review petition seeking investigation into unexpected acceleration of Tesla

According to foreign media reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Friday that it would review a petition requesting the agency to formally investigate reports of a sudden and unexpected acceleration of 500,000 Tesla electric vehicles.

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The agency said the petition covers the 2012-2019 Tesla Model S, the 2016-2019 Tesla Model X, and the 2018-2019 Tesla Model 3 cars. The petition cites "127 complaints filed by consumers with NHTSA involving 123 cars. The report includes 110 crashes and a total of 52 people were injured."

Tesla did not immediately comment on Friday.

In October 2019, the agency said it was assessing whether Tesla should recall 2,000 electric cars in May, rather than releasing software upgrades to fix a potential flaw that could lead to 2012-2019 The batteries of Model S and Model X cars caught fire.

The 2,000 vehicles covered by the petition filed with NHTSA received an upgrade to battery management software in May to address a potential flaw that could trigger a non-crash fire. The petition was filed on September 17. Tesla owners are represented in the office of California lawyer Edward C. Chen.

Chen said in October 2019 that he was convinced that "various reliable sources indicate that this number is well over 2,000." A petition review is still pending.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was investigating an accident that killed a passenger after a Tesla Model 3 collided with a parked fire truck in Indiana on December 29.

This is the 14th accident involving Tesla taken over by NHTSA's special car accident investigation team. It suspects that Tesla's so-called Autopilot or other advanced driver assistance systems might be in use at the time of the crash.