Are Tesla EV owners considering a massive recall that the automaker will have to recall for every model it makes after 2013? If the flawed petition filed by Greek accident researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is anything to go by, it might be true. In fact, Tesla vehicles are facing increased scrutiny from federal regulators after filing a defect application, the agency said.
The Greek researcher filed a petition over the ability of certain Tesla vehicles to move forward or backward without pressing the brake pedal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reportedly investigating a defect petition that seeks to force the electric automaker to modify every car it has been told about since 2013. This will see an interlock system that requires the driver to depress the brake pedal to switch from drive mode to reverse mode to the vehicle.
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Costas Lakafossis, a mechanical and aeronautical engineer and accident investigator from Greece, submitted a lengthy technical document to NHTSA that accused Tesla of introducing special features that encouraged its vehicles to accelerate suddenly and unintentionally, leading to accidents and injuries. “One of the ‘special features’ is the ability for the car to stop and shift into reverse when the driver is about to stop without actually actuating the brake pedal,” Lakafossis wrote, also claiming that there is no real benefit to this potentially dangerous party trick .
In his petition, Lakafossis noted that brake-transmission-shift interlock (BTSI) systems have been known since the 1980s to reduce sudden unintended acceleration in vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. Since 2010, new cars also require this feature. However, Tesla appears to be flouting this requirement in its vehicles. The researchers also claimed that taking both feet off the pedals significantly increased the risk of pedal misuse errors. He also pointed to several incidents in filings with NHTSA that could be related to the error.
First published date: April 17, 2023 at 09:48 AM CST