Tesla has denied allegations made in a petition which claim that its vehicles are prone to accelerating irregularly.
Brian Sparks, who filed the petition, is an investor who is currently shorting Tesla’s stocks – and Tesla highlighted this when defending against the allegations.
“The petition is completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller. We investigate every single incident where the driver alleges to us that their vehicle accelerated contrary to their input, and in every case where we had the vehicle’s data, we confirmed that the car operated as designed,” said Tesla.
Tesla said its cars have measures in place to avoid acceleration-related issues.
“The accelerator pedals in Model S, X and 3 vehicles have two independent position sensors, and if there is any error, the system defaults to cut off motor torque,” said Tesla.
“Likewise, applying the brake pedal simultaneously with the accelerator pedal will override the accelerator pedal input and cut off motor torque, and regardless of the torque, sustained braking will stop the car.”
Tesla said it also uses its autopilot sensor suite to distinguish possible pedal misapplications, which allow the vehicle to cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when the system is confident that a driver’s input was unintentional.
These systems are independent, said Tesla, and the data can be examined after an accident to determine the cause.