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Tesla Says Petition Claiming 'Unintended Acceleration' In Cars Brought By 'Tesla Short-Seller'

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) on Monday responded to a petition filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week that claimed the company'

Benzinga · 01/21/2020 09:19

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) on Monday responded to a petition filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week that claimed the company's electric vehicles were accelerating on their own.

What Happened

In a blog post published Monday, the company said that the petition was "totally false" and brought by a "Tesla short-seller."

"[The] car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake," the statement read.

The petition filed by an independent investor Brian Sparks, CNBC reported last week.

Describing the preventative measures in Tesla vehicles, the statement noted that the independent position sensors in Models S, X, and 3, will cut off motor torque in case of any errors.

If the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time, the brake will override the accelerator to avoid any accidents, according to Tesla.

"Unique to Tesla, we also use the Autopilot sensor suite to help distinguish potential pedal misapplications and cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when we're confident the driver's input was unintentional."

Tesla said that it frequently cooperates with NHTSA on such complaints.

A majority of the 127 complaints included in the latest petition were discussed between the NHTSA and Tesla, according to the statement. "In every case we reviewed with them, the data proved the vehicle functioned properly."

Price Action

Tesla's shares closed 0.58% lower at $510.50 on Friday.