The United States will analyze complaints of sudden acceleration involving 500,000 Tesla vehicles

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Friday that it will review a petition asking the agency to formally investigate 500,000 Tesla Inc vehicles for sudden reports of involuntary acceleration.

The petition covers Tesla Model S models from 2012 to 2019, Tesla Model X from 2016 to 2019 and Tesla Model 3 from 2018 to 2019, the agency said. The petition cites “127 consumer complaints to NHTSA involving 123 unique vehicles. Reports include 110 accidents and 52 injuries,” the agency added.

Tesla did not comment immediately on Friday.

Many of the complaints report sudden incidents of acceleration when trying to park vehicles in a garage or on a sidewalk. Others claimed that sudden acceleration occurred while in traffic or when using driver assistance systems and caused accidents.

In a complaint, a driver said a Tesla Model S 85D 2015 in California was closed and locked when he said “a few moments later, the vehicle started accelerating towards the street and crashed into a parked car.”

A Tesla driver in Avondale, Pennsylvania, was parking in a parking spot at an elementary school when the vehicle accelerated alone, said the complaint and added: “He passed a sidewalk and got into a wire fence.”

Another complaint said that a Tesla driver in Andover, Massachusetts, was approaching the door of his garage “when the car suddenly staggered forward: and” went through the garage door destroying two garage doors. “The Tesla He stopped when he hit the concrete wall of the garage.

In October, the agency said it was reviewing whether Tesla should have removed 2,000 of its electric cars in May instead of issuing a software update to repair a possible defect that could have caused battery fires in the Model S and Model X vehicles of the 2012- 2019 model years.

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model S steering wheel is displayed at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on February 13, 2019. REUTERS / Mark Blinch

The 2,000 vehicles covered by the September petition to the NHTSA received an update of the battery management software in May in response to a potential failure that could cause fires not related to accidents. A lawyer who filed the petition, Edward Chen, told Reuters in October that he firmly believes “this number is much greater than 2,000.” The review is ongoing.

Last week, NHTSA said it was investigating the December 29 accident of a Tesla Model 3 that left a passenger dead after the vehicle collided with a fire truck parked in Indiana.

The accident is the 14th that involves Tesla that NHTSA’s special accident investigation program has taken in which he suspects that the company’s so-called Autopilot or other advanced driver assistance system was in use.

David Shepardson Report; Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski edition

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