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Unexpected acceleration claim process?

Unexpected acceleration claim process?

I experienced an unexpected acceleration event last week, ending up in a small accident. Fortunately nobody was hurt. There is no question in my mind that my 2015 Model S launched itself as I eased on the accelerator pedal while pulling into a parking spot. Is there a process already established to file a claim to Tesla?

Edit: Tesla has already settled privately a lawsuit on this issue. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-13/tesla-resolves-most-o...

For anyone genuinely interested, I cannot tell if the brakes worked when I completely removed the foot from the accelerator, and stomped the brake pedal. The time between the lurch and the collision was extremely short. It did feel like there was no braking. The impact from the model S bumped an SUV parked in front about 10-11 feet back. The model S itself stopped about 4-5 feet into the opposing parking space, which would indicate the brakes **eventually** clamped. Had they not, the cars would've ended stuck bumper to bumper, as I have Creep enabled. Those who understand how a Tesla works will know the car would've continued to roll forward in the case of an elastic collision. I experienced no whiplash.

Trolls and gullible fandom who think the only way unexpected acceleration may happen is by stepping on the accelerator are welcome to stay away or go celebrate their infantile lack of intellect within their own threads.

Edit #2
30 days later, Tesla says my case is still "open and under review"... Cue in C & C Music Factory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF2ayWcJfxo
You do not need to buy the $1200 EDR harness kit https://www.crashdatagroup.com/tesla-edr-kit/ to download your data logs.
Tesla is not training it's CSAs to advise helpfully. Yet, after researching a bit, I found this nugget: https://www.tesla.com/support/privacy. You can request logs be sent to you at no cost (at this time).

Edit #3
50 days later, I called Tesla a 4th time. The CSA could not find my case in their system, but discloses it could be logged somewhere else. He promises to call me before EOD, and HE ACTUALLY DID!!! THATS A FIRST since service quality plunged after Model3 was launched...
However, when he called me back, he stated "the logs were reviewed" and profusely apologized because nobody followed up. Then proceeds to claim "the logs showed that the car was operating properly, meaning the accelerator was pressed...". I didn't let him finish the BS story. OF COURSE IT WILL SHOW AS PRESSED, while I was RELEASING the pedal to slow down into the parking spot. But does it show 100% depression? And If so, why would I floor the 'gas' pedal into a parking turn ?
I politely let him know this was usual Tesla BS and asked him to send me the logs I requested, which he promised to do 2 hours ago so I could send them to the NHTSA... We'll see what happens when I review the logs myself, but I smell a dead rat in Tesla's managing of these incidents...

Edit #4
Tesla finally responds (near 90 days later), and only because of a Mt Kisco manager who does his job diligently. My previous experiences with Tesla service would have led me to believe they took customer complaints in post it notes. Kudos and thanks to Stan. If he is using post-its, he can manage them damn well.
About the interpretation of the logs I received, completely different story. It would seem Tesla is implying I was driving with both feet. The final log entry interpretation reads that after the crash, "The accelerator pedal was then released, the brake pedal remained manually depressed, and the vehicle came to a stop".
That's perplexing. I can't imagine myself bending my foot to manage this, much less in the tenths of a second this happened. I'm gonna try doing that with some boxes and see how can that work using a single foot and same footwear...

NKYTA | 07/01/2020

Hit the wrong pedal?

Don't know of any process, but you could make your case at your nearest SvC.

Xerogas | 07/01/2020

@rafamis: at no point in history has this ever happened. Be prepared for Tesla to pull car logs and tell you which pedal was actually pressed.

reed_lewis | 07/01/2020

You pressed the accelerator. Simple as that.

TranzNDance | 07/01/2020

This tends to arise during parking maneuvers and/or people unfamiliar with the car. For some reason, people haven't reported this happening on the road when approaching a stop.

rafamis | 07/01/2020

I love it when the Dunning Krugger trolls come out thinking they're so witty, with no helpful information whatsoever. I should not write this, but I sincerely hope it happens to you, so you can think back and eat your own words. Apparently, electronics never fail, right? Remember that the next time you reset your computer after it freezes. Maybe it was because you pressed the wrong mouse button.

But seriously, Tesla can only prove what the sensors log. The sensor may incorrectly detect pressure on the pedal, which is one possible explanation to the issue. Bad news, trolls, there's serious research on this.

https://www.autosafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Teslas-Sudden-Acce...

TabascoGuy | 07/01/2020

"There is no question in my mind that my 2015 Model S launched itself as I pulled into a parking spot."

Serious question: How could someone who inadvertently pressed the wrong pedal say anything else?

thomas.hitchcock | 07/01/2020

My car (Model 3) actually hesitated today when I pressed the accelerator at a stop light...I didn't quite floor it, but I did press it pretty hard so that I would be able to make the next light...and after it initially started accelerating fast it then for a moment acted kind of sluggish before resuming fast acceleration.

jimglas | 07/01/2020

must have a twitchy foot

rafamis | 07/01/2020

@Thomas: Better safe than sorry. Get it checked. A bad pedal sensor can fail by sticking or by staying open.

You can also order a EBD harness adapter cable to hook a into the diagnostic port. Thats probably much quicker than getting an appointment at the local Tesla shop. I read that Tesla offers the diag app for free. Unlike our gullible, soylent-green friends posting here, some people do prefer trusting what they can test themselves. But ignorance is bliss I guess.

https://electrek.co/2018/03/06/tesla-new-edr-tool-blackbox-data-crash/

Wormtown Kris | 07/01/2020

Something I've pondered when I've seen the various SUA claims: Was AutoPilot or TACC on? Seems a lot of these SUA claims occur when pulling in to a parking lot. If TACC is set for, say, 35 mph, but you coast into a parking lot behind another vehicle, if the driver never disengages TACC, would it not seek its max speed if the car in front pulls off? Then you would not have to mash the go pedal to have the car lurch forward...

kaffine | 07/01/2020

I think the process is you claim unintended acceleration, everyone here says you used the wrong pedal. Eventually you file a claim with your insurance company.

You can contact your local service center and see if they see anything wrong with the car. You can also report it to the https://www.nhtsa.gov

I really wish they would put a camera in the driver foot well. That would provide good proof one way or the other.

GHammer | 07/01/2020

Good luck with that. There is a guy you can pay to prove your case but I'l bet he wont find in your favor:
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/2721145/

rafamis | 07/01/2020

@Wormtown Kris
+No autopilot on my model.
+Cruise control was set to 79, but obviously not in use in the parking lot,plus it doesn't work below 15 MPH, if memory serves

I drove a P100D with Pilot2 +Self Drive Navigation Beta for a week. Concluded its not for me. Will not waste $6K on postpurchase Pilot 1. I have no need for summon as I have a very decent 3 spot garage, and not using it for storage.
The P100D had no awareness of traffic lights, and would attempt jumping over roundabout curbs. Scary. My usual driving includes lots of these.

BTW Going from a 75D to a P100D is like upgrading from a C class to a regular no P Tesla. It was great. Particularly on lengthy un-tolled highway drives.

rafamis | 07/01/2020

Kaffine
I dialed Tesla, and routed to Tech support. Alerted them to the event . The agent was professional, asked a ton of fairly smart questions, and stated it would take Tesla a couple weeks to investigate. After 4 years, I know not to expect any call back. So I will have to find if there is any ongoing class action I can sign in on, and maybe recover a fraction of the insurance deductible, increased fees, and lost value.

rafamis | 07/01/2020

Kaffine
I dialed Tesla, and routed to Tech support. Alerted them to the event . The agent was professional, asked a ton of fairly smart questions, and stated it would take Tesla a couple weeks to investigate. After 4 years, I know not to expect any call back. So I will have to find if there is any ongoing class action I can sign in on, and maybe recover a fraction of the insurance deductible, increased fees, and lost value.

rafamis | 07/01/2020

GHammer
Thanks for the link. It seems there are many more cases of this happening than we would think. Highly similar too, where one would think it makes no sense the driver would confuse pedal positions.

I will probably order the harness link and pull data by myself once I get the car back.

BadgerErickson | 08/01/2020

How much do you owe on your 2015 Model S?

TeslaTap.com | 08/01/2020

@rafamis, while I have no information as to what exactly occurred in your case, there have been so many pedal misapplication cases of on every make and brand of cars. The owner swears they applied the brakes, yet the car shot forward. The analysis by the NTSB and those cars that have logs show pedal misapplication. There are many sad cases of people in parking lots or driveways killing someone when they press the accelerator hard and don't understand why the car doesn't stop. It's human nature to assign fault somewhere else.

I do know the accelerator on all modern cars that electronically monitor the accelerator position have redundant sensors, in opposite positions. I've never heard of both sensors failing at the same time and causing a problem as you describe. It doesn't mean it isn't possible but seems infinitesimally rare.

It's also possible Tesla's safety feature Obstacle aware acceleration prevented a far worse accident. Here are more details: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/14/a-quick-look-at-teslas-obstacle-awa...

Anyway, if you get the logs, I hope it provides some closure one way or the other. My only concern is if the logs show pedal misapplication you may not believe it and waste a lot of money and time trying to prove you were right.

PrescottRichard | 08/01/2020

Promise to post a follow up regardless of the results!

GHammer | 08/01/2020

The post I linked to explains the technical details of why the sensor failure theory cant happen:

"I just recently finished what I believe is my tenth private investigation of cases of "unexpected" acceleration in a Tesla where the owners have claimed the car accelerated on its own and they didn't press the pedal, yada yada.

Every single instance has shown that the accelerator pedal was physically pressed to the floor (or nearly) during the event. This is monitored by 100Hz reporting of the two sensors in the pedal by two independent systems (a "pedal monitor" and "drive inverter cross-check", only changes are logged... and this actually used to be 10Hz logging, but Tesla bumped it up probably in response to claims like this). If it were an electronic issue or the car just decided to massively accelerate on its own somehow (not actually possible, for the record), the curve of both sensors would not match perfectly with baseline logs of me mashing my own pedal. In every case I investigated the four logging points for pedal position changes matched perfectly with a physical pedal doing the exact same action. Every. Single. One.

After being unequivocally proven, the parties contracting me to somehow exonerate them have essentially begged me to not stand by my stance of publicly posting the data or sharing it with anyone. (If you may recall, I've offered to investigate such instances free of charge in exchange for the rights to basically do whatever I want with the data, including posting in relevant threads or stories.) Out of respect for those involved, I've honored such requests.

So, sorry for your accident, OP, but it's just not the car's fault. End of story."

I dare the OP to accuse the author of the above quote, wk057 aka Jason Hughes, of an "infantile lack of intellect"

rafamis | 08/01/2020

@TeslaTap.com & @PrescottRichard
I was in love with my car, and would be extremely sad to sell it. That said, if Tesla comes back saying my accident was due to driver error, thats exactly what I will be doing. I will post back here. I do intend to pull data from the diag. port.

The logs will definitely show my foot was on the pedal. That would constitute no proof of driver error. As previously stated, I was actually releasing it to slow down. I've been driving this car for years, and up to that point, and I am extremely familiar with it. For example, does smoking not cause cancer ? Yet many people implicitly trusted big tobacco when they claimed there was no evidence of cigarettes making people sick, just because they had smoked for years, and smoking never made them sick. Im sure theres many people feeling the same way about vaping. Kids who got sick vaping must have been messing with the e-cig devices. "Because everyone else is an idiot"

jimglas | 08/01/2020

enjoy your kia!

rafamis | 08/01/2020

@GHammer: I dare you to deny you sided with Boeing when they claimed their 737 Maxes didn't fail. Pilot error, EVERY SINGLE ACCIDENT... RIGHT?

GHammer | 08/01/2020

OK, I deny it. It was pretty clear after the second crash something was going wrong with the plane. Look, I dont have any skin in the game, you are free to hold on to your anger and spend time and money pursuing your righteous cause and you may even be successful, I dont really care.

I'll go back to my own infantile lack of intellect threads now.

mialink | 08/01/2020

The last time I caused an accident I saw I was about to hit another car. Slammed on the breaks and kept going, bounced off and hit them again. The I realized my foot was on the accelerator not the brake. In that split moment I was absolutely positively 100% sure I had my foot slamming the brake pedal to the floor. I was wrong.

SamO | 08/01/2020

+1 GHammer, mialink and wk057

Human error. File suit and you’ll lose.

BadgerErickson | 08/01/2020

How much do you owe on the car?

rafamis | 08/01/2020

@Badger more than a few K. Probably close to the blue book value.

Yodrak. | 10/01/2020

"I experienced an unexpected acceleration event last week, ... as I eased on the accelerator pedal while pulling into a parking spot."

Had you by any chance been using cruise control, and it was active? In many cars cruise control cannot be activated until the car is going a certain minimum speed, but I've noticed in my Model S that if cruise control had been active, but was turned off as I braked for a traffic light, pulling the stalk turned it back on even though the car had stopped.

I've also noticed at a certain highway exit I use often with cruise control engaged, the car will first slow down dramatically and then accelerate equally dramatically. It's a situation where the exit continues straight ahead, the highway turns off to the right. I notice that the speed limit indication on the dash follows the same pattern, it seems that the car thinks the initial part of the exit has a lower speed limit which then increases as the exit becomes a street. I've learned to disengage the cruise control as I leave the highway proper, then re-engage it when I reach the street so as to avoid the erratic speed behavior in between.

BadgerErickson | 10/01/2020

Just go through the NHTSA site. Nobody here it appears cares about the cars or the customers.

No worries, glad you're OK.

lilbean | 10/01/2020

Great podcast regarding unintended acceleration:
http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/08-blame-game

kaffine | 10/01/2020

BadgerErickson

It could also be that most of us realize how unlikely unintended acceleration really is vs pedal misapplication. I have only ran across 1 time that a truck had an issue with unintended acceleration that was able to be duplicated and if you had used the brake it stopped the acceleration and stopped the truck like normal. The cause of it was the cruise control wiring between the button and the PCM were damage and shorting to each other and would occasionally give the PCM the command to set cruise control and accelerate the truck. Just touching the brake took it out of cruise control although it may turn back on again when you released the brake. It couldn't happen under 35mph as that was the lowest speed cruise control would enable on that truck. I was able to locate the problem and could prove what caused it and say for certain that it was fixed and wouldn't happen again.

Most of the unintended acceleration cases are pedal misapplication. The issue will always be how to prove it one way or the other. Most fly by wire TPS sensors use multiple sensors in them. Either using idle off idle switches along with the variable resistor or use multiple variable resistors with different ranges and one that works inverse of the others. That is pretty telling on a event data recorder if the 3 variable resistors shows the pedal is pushed then it is pushed. However now was it the drivers foot on the pedal or did the linkage bind or something else push the pedal. If the pedal doesn't register then you have a good case for unintended acceleration.

BadgerErickson | 11/01/2020

kaffine

I have nothing to do with this complaint in my vehicles.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/

Glad rafamis was not injured this time.

soenke | 12/01/2020

Solution is: When turning the steering wheel it’s easy to accidentally hit the TACC lever. Car will accelerate in such case.

Happened to me twice, but without consequence.

This is 99.9% the reason for those “sudden accelerations”. And when you say you >turned< into that parking spot, this basically makes a 100%.

rafamis | 13/01/2020

Hey @Yodrak.

I always leave cruise set to 'on' (as in the indicator showing a grayed out speed setting in the HUD- top left). Always set for for highway speed. It was not activated during that particular driving session, as I was driving surface roads ner home. I've never felt the need to disengage it. Good advise though.

rafamis | 13/01/2020

@soenke Doubt it. I sit as far as I can from the wheel when I driive. Personal preference. My arms are always quite extended, and my fingers have never gotten in the way of any of the stalks.
The only issue I've ever had with Tesla stalks has been unwittingly activating the parking brakes or switching to neutral, as my other 2 vehicles have different functions on their stalks (wipers and such).

rafamis | 13/01/2020

@BadgerErickson Thanks. I filed with the NHTSA last week. If I hadn't already, your post would've been very helpful. If someone else happens on this post (doubt it though, Tesla's forum is asinine), I'm sure you'd have given them a place to start.

rafamis | 13/01/2020

@soenke, Forgot to mention, you need to be doing 18 mph for TACC to activate, according to google (I thought it was 15). I could have been driving 18 within the parking lot, but felt I was already regen braking to 9 or 10 when steering right into the parking spot. So even if accidental stalk contact ocurred should not have turned the TACC on. It would be interesting to see what the logs show in this regard.

After giving it some thought, I cannot rule out the car briefly sensing more than 18mph as I pulled into the spot. I do drive briskly. And as I never take care in disengaging the TACC, It makes a lot of sense !!!

You might have landed the cause of the incident.

rafamis | 13/01/2020

@soenke, Forgot to mention, you need to be doing 18 mph for TACC to activate, according to google (I thought it was 15). I could have been driving 18 within the parking lot, but felt I was already regen braking to 9 or 10 when steering right into the parking spot. So even if accidental stalk contact ocurred should not have turned the TACC on. It would be interesting to see what the logs show in this regard.

After giving it some thought, I cannot rule out the car briefly sensing more than 18mph as I pulled into the spot. I do drive briskly. And as I never take care in disengaging the TACC, It makes a lot of sense !!!

You might have landed the cause of the incident.

blue adept | 19/01/2020

@rafamis

One question...

Was your AP active at the time?

GoldAK47 | 21/01/2020

Its funny how people here assume its not possible, when in fact its very possible.

I have had several DC to AC converters give power unexpectedly and stick full throttle, even after years of no issue. It happens. Electronics fail. Sensors get worn, and can give false info. They have fail safes to help, but doesnt fix all scenarios. If they didnt fail, why would they have fail safes?

jimglas | 21/01/2020

eery time this has been reported, the logs have demonstrated user error
"not an AC to DC converter suck a full power"
But nice FUD try

TeslaTap.com | 21/01/2020

@Gold - Actually, I don't see how it is possible in the Tesla. Clearly, some parts can fail or software could have a bug, but it would require a lot of things to go wrong all at once AND the mechanical brakes to fail. Since in every instance the logs have shown pedal misapplication, there is little to debate.

Yes, you might have some poorly designed part or custom vehicle without any safety design considerations that exhibits flawed operation. Not sure how that relates to Tesla.

A well-designed system has multiple safety systems in place as Tesla does. With all the electronics and software, people keep forgetting the braking system is independent with a mechanical backup that can stop the car even at full throttle.

TabascoGuy | 21/01/2020

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-sudden-unintended-acceleration-claims-de...

"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."

reed_lewis | 21/01/2020

@GoldAK47 - The issue is that in a Tesla, the accelerator pedal is monitored by two different sensors which act in opposite ways. One increases when the pedal is pressed, and one decreases. If they not agree, then the car does not drive. It is not a simple potentiometer in which a single variable resistor is used.

So while you think you may have found the reason, you have not.

rafamis | 21/01/2020

Question for the Dunning Kruggers: Why would Tesla settle privately, if all incidents have been researched and pointed to driver error...?

By the way, the fact that Elon is calling me a short seller makes me feel further validated. He's on the defensive and grasping at straws.

TabascoGuy | 21/01/2020

6 of the 7 plaintiffs dropped out of the suit. Only one is hard headed enough to continue.

Also, unless you're the one that started the petition, no one else was labeled a short seller.

bujbujbuj | 21/01/2020

newbie mistake... I had my model s for a couple of weeks... I was making a left hand turn and hit the cruise control instead of the left turn signal... car zoomed forward...luckily I hit the brakes... scared the heck out of me... I guess my old car turn signal location is imprinted on my brain... anyway...just a cautionary tale...

kaffine | 21/01/2020

rafamis

So have you managed to get the logs from the car yet?

reed_lewis

There are failures that could cause the unintended acceleration without throttle input. That is why the logs are important. If they show the sensors agree and are calling for acceleration then either the driver has his foot on the pedal or there is a mechanical issue with the pedal. However the electronics are more than capable of accelerating the car without the pedal being pushed otherwise cruise control wouldn't work. So if the pedal sensors say the pedal isn't being pushed it becomes much more difficult to sort out. It could be that cruise was still active or was activated just before and the car didn't see any obstacles.

Shesmyne2 | 21/01/2020

https://www.tesla.com/blog/no-unintended-acceleration-tesla-vehicles

Discredited. More short BS.

Still Grinning ;-)

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