Unexpected rapid acceleration problem?

Unexpected rapid acceleration problem?

Has anyone experienced unexpected rapid acceleration while driving a Model S?

I was pulling into a parking space. Per engineering data recorded by Tesla, I was driving under 5 miles an hour and depressed the brake as I turned into a parking space. At nearly the same moment, the accelerator pedal went to 100% and I crashed into the car in the facing parking space. Airbags deployed and damage was done. Either my foot slipped off the brake and pushed the accelerator to 100%, which seems so strange, or something else was going on. This has been so disconcerting for me as I have not been in accidents in the past and am not reckless.

If there is something else to this, besides me braking and within a second slamming the accelerator to 100%, then it would important to know and to fix.

Also, given the sensors, it seems the Tesla should be able to stop this type of crash from happening. Since the car can "see" an obstacle, why would it allow the car going so slowly to rapidly accelerate into another car?

Bighorn | May 25, 2016

Never experienced it. The logs will tell the tale. Zero chance that depressing the brake pedal was the cause, however.

vp09 | May 25, 2016

Very scary! I pick up my 90D Saturday. Please let us know what the logs say about the cause of this horrible accident.

RIsquare | May 25, 2016

Same happened to my dad about 35 years ago. Hit gas instead of brake and hit a birch tree. He was 60 y.o. at the time.

compchat | May 25, 2016

How old are you ? Are you on medications ? Had you been drinking ?

More likely than not you accidently hit the accelerator pedal. When the car didn't stop you pressed it harder and thus it went to "100 percent"

compchat | May 25, 2016

I'm sure your insurance company (and the car owner that you crashed into) will help you figure this out.

compchat | May 25, 2016

I'm sure your insurance company (and the car owner that you crashed into) will help you figure this out.

davidahn | May 25, 2016

First, is wildflower even a verified owner? Let's start by verifying it's NOT a troll, either for fun, trying to short TSLA, or any number of reasons. Audi took years to recover and Toyota stock fell over 20% surrounding similar allegations.

Unintended acceleration. Impossible to prove it did not happen... IF this actually happened, it's an error-prone human operator's word vs. a much more reliable machine programmed by much less error-prone engineers.

compchat | May 26, 2016


"Also, given the sensors, it seems the Tesla should be able to stop this type of crash from happening. Since the car can "see" an obstacle, why would it allow the car going so slowly to rapidly accelerate into another car?"

Guess what. If you are driving along and some kid runs in front of your Tesla it will crush the kid like anyother vehicle. It just can't stop that quickly and unexpectantly. Nor could the driver re-act quickly enough to stop the accident. Musk himself said this in one of his you tube videos.

Anthony J. Parisio | May 26, 2016

This whole post sounds very fishy to me! Just like with the Toyota unintended acceleration, I don't believe it. No other country in the world reported unintended acceleration in Toyotas. No young people in the United States had unintended acceleration in Toyotas. I don't believe Toyotas had unintended acceleration nor do I believe Audi had any. I also don't believe this post.

FelixMendeldog | May 26, 2016

Tesla logs will show that this driver mashed the accelerator.

FelixMendeldog | May 26, 2016

No car, not even a top fuel drag car, can overcome its own brakes.

Anthony J. Parisio | May 26, 2016

FelixMendeldog +1

lolachampcar | May 26, 2016

The brake actuation is an input to the inverter, directly. The error message you get on your dash when you depress the accelerator and the brake at the same time is generated by the inverter watchdog that works independently from the primary inverter power control function. If Tesla is like other fly by wire manufacturers, there will be a third fail safe as well. These fail safes are independent from the primary power control function. The chances that all will fail simultaneously whilst doing so creating the correct combination of inputs is not statistically meaningful. In short, I would look long and hard at the non-hardware element prior to blaming the hardware.

I was very surprised when I looked into how modern vehicle ECUs managed something like the throttle position input from the pedal. There is a three way potentiometer in the pedal group. Two swing one way while the third swings the opposite way. All three voltages must agree at the primary ECU input and a completely separate IC working as an independent watchdog must approve the input. If there is ever an issue, the ECU flags it and goes into limp mode while the watchdog uses a separate mechanism to limit power. The OEMs have done their homework on this one and they can be trusted.

Bighorn | May 26, 2016

You took the words right out of my mouth:)

redacted | May 26, 2016

It's easy enough to hit both the brake and anti-brake pedals at once. I think most Tesla drivers have experienced these sorts of things.

cdavidhord | May 26, 2016

I wish my 70D had an unexpected P90D acceleration problem.

KP in NPT | May 26, 2016

Maybe the car was in your way? ;-)

Bighorn | May 26, 2016

That Rover bumper seemed to be indestructible! Here I thought Chinese women were just bad drivers (ducks)

KP in NPT | May 26, 2016

@Bighorn - having spent 3 weeks in China on vacation, that video wasn't surprising to me at ALL - regardless of gender. I'll just leave it at that so I don't offend anyone from China on this forum. ;) I can't imagine the mentality of crashing one very expensive car - on purpose - into another very expensive car because they were double parked. Apparently it just happened on Monday.

frankie.fingers | May 26, 2016

"Either my foot slipped off the brake and pushed the accelerator to 100%..."

Hmmmm, sounds about right.

Made in CA | May 26, 2016

I have big feet and for the first few weeks after getting the P90D I occasionally also hit the accelerator when I pushed the brake pedal. Whenever that happens a warning message pops up, it beeps, and power is cut. You definitely know when you do it.

I eventually retrained myself to position my foot further to the left when moving over to the brake pedal. I never have a problem anymore.

Also, I never had this problem on our 85D. I think the brushed metallic pedals that are included in the P models are slightly wider.

Silver2K | May 26, 2016


My brother is a teacher in China and saw this video. He was very surprised to see that road rage. | May 26, 2016

To answer the OP's question, a similar event happened several years ago where someone parking in front of a restaurant drove into the restaurant. The operator thought they were pressing the brake, but were really pressing the accelerator. Tesla was not at fault.

As to the idea of overriding the operator's depression of the accelerator, it's very hard to understand what a driver really wants done. Perhaps they see a fast moving car about to T-bone the side and want to move quickly out of the way. Do you ignore the operator's full depression of the brake pedal and let them get injured or killed? Easy to come up with scenarios to brake or go 100%, but it really has to be the driver's choice.

As for braking, the brakes are so strong on all cars that if the accelerator was somehow stuck on 100%, the brake will still override the power of the motor/engine and slow the vehicle to a stop. | May 26, 2016

"...operator's full depression of the accelerator and let them get injured or killed? "

Mathew98 | May 26, 2016

Are you folks kidding? That's just good old fashion solution to someone boxing you in. When she got to go, she got to go. Get out of my freaking way and double park somewhere else, ya hear???

Perhaps we should implement the same strategy to resolve the ICE'ing the EV stalls.

Or she was having a really bad day at the beauty salon... That Victor/Victoria look didn't work for her!

KP in NPT | May 26, 2016

@Silver - can your brother say what the spectators were saying? The video description says they were basically cheering her on. But since I don't speak Chinese I don't know if that's true....

Anthony J. Parisio | May 26, 2016

lolachampcar way to do your home work! I so love nerds like me.

Son of a Gunn | May 26, 2016

Of course the OP's foot must have been the pedal to tell that it went to 100%. Or he has a calibrated ESP. By the way 100% means floored, and if that were the case the car would shoot like a rocket and they probably wouldn't be here to tell the tale.

GHammer | May 26, 2016

I know it's a fast car but is it even possible to get going fast enough in the length of a parking space to deploy air bags?

tes-s | May 26, 2016

When and where did this happen? It would be interesting to read an independent account of this in the local paper, and see what the police report says.

finman100 | May 26, 2016

yeah, that ain't happening (an actual police report). cause this "event" didn't happen. bogus post. move on. okay it did happen in some loser's mind and it got all the way to their keyboard...

sklancha | May 26, 2016

@mp1156 That's a HORRIBLE video! My stomach turned with each hit. I don't speak Chinese either- but at the end of the video you clearly see someone signing for the rager to get out of there. I agree with tes-s: It would be interesting to read (or have interpreted) what the local paper reported about this.

@OP I've never seen anybody accidentally floor the accelerator in my entire life- until this past two years, where I've witnessed it twice. The first time was when I was visiting my dad, and let him drive my Tesla. He was parking on front of a brick building- thought he moved over to the brake pedal, pressed it gently at first- and when the car didn't slow down, he slammed on the "brake"... which was the accelerator. Amazingly, he was able to adjust about one inch before hitting the building. I am shaking just remembering the incident.
The other incident was with my daughter's car (not a Tesla)- We were at Auto Zone, and the employee went to reposition the car, and hit the gas pedal. when the car lunged forward, he hit the gas pedal harder- The car went over the curb- but he was able to stop it before it hit the much more elevated sidewalk.

Both times, the first increase in speed was followed by a reflexive increased pressure on the pedal... just happened to be the wrong pedal.


Bighorn | May 26, 2016

Same as the guy who drove into a pool and drown. I think he was 85.

UnshodBob | May 26, 2016

@mp1156 - seems to me some people cheered when she got past the other car.

Mathew98 | May 26, 2016

@mp1156 - My Chinese/Korean/Japanese are rusty. College was such a distant memory...

The bystanders were giving directions to the Rover driver to hit certain spots of the Jaguar which was blocking her in. They also informed her to avoid hitting the cars adjacent to her while ramming the Jaguar.

The last audio from the bystander was for the driver to "Get out of here now!"

KP in NPT | May 26, 2016

@sklancha and anyone else interested - a googling of the situation shows that the Rover driver was intentionally blocked by the Jag over an ongoing legal dispute about says the Jag owner dared her to ram him to get out. I guess he didn't know who he was dealing with LOL.

lolachampcar | May 26, 2016

I know I've had a small itch from time to time to simply damage someone else's hardware (no personal damage mind you, just hardware) but always thought better of it.

SUN 2 DRV | May 26, 2016

Video seems fair to me. The double parker clearly chose to put his selfish interests over those of other people. I'm rooting for the lady in the Range Rover. Jag driver is the jerk and got what he deserved, and maybe a little extra.

danielpf | May 26, 2016

As I was driving slowly at night to my home, our cat suddenly ran in front of the car. I was suprised and for a fraction of sec pressed the acceleration pedal instead of the brake, then corrected. The cat was not injured, but it was showing that pressing the wrong pedal by mistake is a possibility.

Silver2K | May 26, 2016


unfortunately no, he teaches English, biology and philosophy.

sherbear | April 7, 2018

I too had my Tesla X accelerate instead of decelerating and hit a car and small apartment. The car has been in repair for almost 2 months waiting for parts since Tesla seems to have moved all resources to getting the model 3's delivered. I looked down and my foot WAS ON THE BRAKE; I was not on autopilot and additionally the car should stop if you press both the accelerator and brake simultaneously. The car is shut down so Tesla can not check the diagnostics. I am a dentist of over 30 years and therefore use my feet on pedals (or rheostats) every week day. I am only 54 years old, have been driving since age 16 years, no medications/drinking, and it occurred at 8:15AM. I own Tesla stock and my spouse owns a Tesla as well. I am just concerned about this as major safety issue!!

avesraggiana | April 7, 2018

@sherbear. This just happened to my father, pulling in my mum's Model X into the garage. I was standing out on the driveway, watching the whole thing from behind the car. All of a sudden the car lurched forward violently and crashed into the garage wall, taking down a door leading into the laundry room and heavily damaging stucco, drywall, and shifting some of the wood framing about a foot away from their original location.

Quite a message, and heavy damage to the front of the car, and to the house.


Tropopause | April 8, 2018

The difference between sherbear and avesraggiana is the latter is honest about what happened. The former is sounding like a troll and dug up this old thread.

billUK | April 8, 2018

I have accidentally pressed the wrong pedal years ago, but realised what I had done so did not hit anything. A friend of mine did the same and put the rear of her car through the garage wall and the back (driven) wheels over a drop into a river. The car stopped when the floor pan made contact with the ground and the back wheels were spinning in the air.

Run4Waffles | April 8, 2018

The same type of thing happened when I was working at a garage in college. An attendant was pulling a car into the bay and the mechanic was directing him in. The car suddenly launched forward and both of the mechanic’s legs were broken. It was horrific.

You be the judge.

Anthony J. Parisio | April 8, 2018

Let’s see what the black box says when sherbear‘s car wakes up. I am in my 50’s and sorry about pressing the wrong pedal.

ytwen | April 8, 2018

It did happen to my wife when trying to stop at a golf course parking lot. The car crashed into a 10 feet high bushes dirt mount. No one got hurt. Tesla claimed “acceleration padel was applied before crash and Tesla don’t have automatic emergency brake in this situation”.

The car should set “acceleration” speed limit to 1mph in front of large obstacle???

insfbayarea | April 8, 2018

Tropopause - troll is such a cliche - try paid detractor

neukwen | April 8, 2018

One of the most dangerous features of the Tesla may be the option to turn creep off. "Creep Off" requires the driver to have their foot over the accelerator rather than the brake in slow moving situations. Turn creep on for safety!

rednairb | April 8, 2018

@neukwen. Have you ever driven a manual transmission?