anyone see this weird rumor going around that unattended acceleration filed with NHTSA?

anyone see this weird rumor going around that unattended acceleration filed with NHTSA?

looks like the shorts are at it again, or some dumb owner and his dumb wife trying to blame tesla!

TeslaOR | 25 september 2013

No, but lots of rumors about intended acceleration.

brett.padgett | 25 september 2013

Depending on the circumstances, it could be that the driver hit the cruise control stalk instead of the turn signal stalk.

eddiemoy | 25 september 2013

cruise control doesn't do that, i've tried it on mine.

David70 | 25 september 2013

What kind of a launch ramp did she use to get it to land on a 4.5 ft wall? I'm not convinced that a curb could do that. What was the distance from the start of acceleration to the curb?

hsadler | 25 september 2013

Early in the ownership my wife was using cruise. She had to slow - using brakes - which disengages the Cruise. But after a minute, she went to change lanes - pushed up on the cruise control (thinkig turn signal) which caused it to resume. In this case it accelerated.
She thought there was a problem- called service - it was checked, but later we determined the cause. Wrong lever.

Jesse K | 25 september 2013

I am pretty sure if wifey crashed my Model S because she got the go pedal confused with the stop pedal that she would claim "I don't know what happened, all of the sudden it was accelerating..."

dr.jacks.tesla | 25 september 2013

That is probably complete bullshi... The wife f.. Up and blaming the car do she is not in trouble!

tes-s | 25 september 2013

Does the MS do data logging? That should be able to clear up the positions of the controls and what actually happened.

Thomas N. | 25 september 2013

Hell yes it does data logging. I'm scared to death it will note my weight changes via the driver's seat sensor.....

Captain_Zap | 25 september 2013

I read the complaint and it does not make sense to me. It says:


The brake was constantly applied... Hmmm. Sounds like something else was applied instead of the brake.

redacted | 25 september 2013

I want that extra 8%.

redders | 25 september 2013

Capn Zap - there was definitely some more pertinent information at the end of the story, if not the complaint:

"The owner denies that his wife stepped all the way down on the pedal"

Aaaaah. So the person that you allowed to drive the car told you that they stepped on the accelerator, but not ALL THE WAY DOWN (!!!!!). Well there's no way that could possibly be driver error then. Glad that's settled.....

Captain_Zap | 25 september 2013


The way I read the complaint it was Tesla that said the accelerator was pressed, not the complaintant.

redders | 25 september 2013

92% vs. 100%. Their complaint isn't UNINTENDED acceleration, despite what they filed. They are really complaining that it accelerated too quickly for them.

Welcome to Tesla, people.

Captain_Zap | 25 september 2013

complaint, it

redders | 25 september 2013

Capn Zap. I'm reading between the lines:

"The owner denies that his wife stepped all the way down on the pedal"

Either you deny that she stepped on the pedal or you deny that she stepped all the way down on the pedal. I bet he chose his words very carefully.

shop | 25 september 2013

Sounds ludicrous. We are being trolled. The 4.5 foot wall is one foot from the curb and the curb caused the car to land on the wall?

Gizmotoy | 25 september 2013

The accelerator has a built-in safeguard that maxes it out at 92%? But the Tesla engineer says it hit 100%? Am I missing something here? The way that's worded pretty much guarantees there was some sort of issue with the lady's car.

Or is the complaint that she stomped on it expecting to get 92%, but actually got 100%? If the latter, the complaint is hilarious. Yeah, lady, that extra 8% is why you ended up beached on a retaining wall.

jbunn | 25 september 2013

Possibly the 4.5 foot wall could be a retaining wall with a drop off on the other side. Someone did something like this at the Tejon Ranch supercharger a couple months back. Hopped a curb, went over a retaining embankment and through a fence. Ooops. Wrong gear, then hit the wrong pedal.

Regarding the report though, it said "the records show that the pedal was depressed and the car, "accelerated from 18 percent to 100 percent in split second" ".

So the pedal was depressed. And the car can't "accelerate from 18 to 100%" in a split second. That would turn everyone in the car into hairy strawberry jam. I think what they meant is power went to full. Yeah... That's what the narrow pedal on the right does.

jbunn | 25 september 2013

Gizmo, I read that to mean the pedal supplies 92% of the power the inverter and motor can handle, but the full travel of the pedal represents 100% of the power available to the driver. But that's just my guess.

riceuguy | 25 september 2013

+1 Jesse!

Gizmotoy | 25 september 2013

Interesting. I wonder who will be first to tinker with the software to unlock that "hidden" 8%...

fluxemag | 25 september 2013

+1 JesseK

jeffsstuff | 25 september 2013

I'm sure this will turn out to be nothing other than operator error. While I dislike the privacy implications of the massive amount of data being lcollected by the vehicle, in this case, it will vindicate the car and it's manufacturer.

redacted | 25 september 2013

I'm still trying to get my mind around the concept of 100% acceleration. Or 92% acceleration, which seems somewhat like adulterated acceleration. I can see power applied to the motor (@jbunn) being 100% of the rated value of the motor. But 100% acceleration is like 100% speed. Huh?

I wonder if they had the P+ package? My traction control kicks in on my P85 at low speed because the tires can't even handle 92% acceleration. Which I'm pretty sure would be enough to land me on top of the retaining wall if I was dumb enough to aim for the curb.

Tâm | 25 september 2013

Tesla may have understated its performance on the specifications. Such as 0-60mph, horse power, Maximum speed capped at 125mph, 130mph…

Thus, it is not a surprise that the acceleration was capped at 92% but in reality it shots to 100%.

When not pressing any pedal, the car would slow down to 1 or 0 mph. If it’s 5mph, then it could be because the accelerator speeded it up beyond 0 or 1 mph.
Constant braking should stop the car. However, the accelerator might have been pressed at the same time which overcame the brake and speeds the car at 5mph.

A panicky pressing harder to the accelerator would break the car free from the stopping power of the brakes and gave the owner the instant acceleration.

Currently, when both brake and accelerator are pressed together, the accelerator wins over the brakes every time. Try yourself!

Toyota fixed this problem by implementing “Brake Override” that allows the brakes win every single time.

However, there are owners who opposes “brake override” feature. I don’t know

mrrjm | 25 september 2013

It's not a good idea to text and drive!

Gizmotoy | 25 september 2013

Currently, when both brake and accelerator are pressed together, the accelerator wins over the brakes every time. Try yourself!
Do the brakes not have a mechanical linkage (brake-by-wire)? I thought mechanical brakes were still mandatory per federal law.

To my mind, if you've smashed both the brake and the accelerator, you are probably panic braking and actually want to slow down, not accelerate.

gooshjkc | 25 september 2013

I'm sure Tesla will take this seriously as any manufacturer should, but it sounds like the driver mistook the brake for the accelerator. Most people will deny this, claiming they know the difference. However, it does happen more than people would like to admit. I even done it couple of times and one time I had to paid the price. Usually this happens when someone is not paying attention. Like texting, talking, looking at something and so on. At the last moment when a person realize what's going on, they react immediately without knowing what they're doing. This can mean pressing on the accelerator instead of the brake. It will take a while for the mind and the body to react to this. Trust me, that's enough time to get into an accident as this person did in the article. The person realizing what happen didn't want to admit it, so filed a complaint hoping to get his/her money back. Anyway, that's my thoughts.

Tâm | 25 september 2013

@ Gizmotoy
Fly-by-wire is most if all for new cars.

Of course, when you apply brake, it should slow down to a stop, not constantly at 5mph.

If you applied slightly and it did not stop, and you wanted it stop, so your instinct was to apply the “brake” harder. But if you applied the “brake” harder, it accelerated to 100% then, it is questionable whether the real brake was applied or not!

Tiebreaker | 25 september 2013

"Gizmotoy | SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Interesting. I wonder who will be first to tinker with the software to unlock that "hidden" 8%..."

Look under the go pedal, there may be an 8% shim that blocks it from going 100%.

gooshjkc | 25 september 2013

One more thing, this whole thing about 92% and 100% is pretty common on high end cars. My Porsches have it. I press on the accelerator it goes down about 92%, but I can still press it further down, but I need to put extra pressure to do that. It is called, "Kickdown".

jackhub | 25 september 2013

I expect the Tesla black box will settle it. I reported a slight 'fishtail' incident on wet pavement about two weeks after it happened. They asked me for the date and approximate time in order to check their log on my car's behavior. I'm sure they have a log on this car, too. Part of prevention and maintenance.

AmpedRealtor | 25 september 2013

@ eddiemoy - Why can't you give the people who filed the complaint the benefit of the doubt? There is more to life than stock value, and it's not helpful to accuse people who may be having legitimate issues of making things up in order to manipulate the stock price.

Seriously, if the media wanted ammo for a hatchet piece, they have no further to go than the public posts in this forum. Someone wanting to trash Tesla wouldn't go through the process of filing an NHTSA complaint.

Also, by bringing the complaint to everyone attention and starting a thread about it probably does more damage to the brand and peoples' perception of that brand than the actual complaint itself. You are elevating it to another level and giving it a lot of attention.

Gizmotoy | 25 september 2013

@Tam ("Fly-by-wire is most if all for new cars."): Actually, after some investigation, it appears that drive-by-wire brakes are still no permitted in the US, and that the Model S has a mechanical linkage.

The parking brake is electronically actuated (pressing the button causes the electronics to pull the actuation cable), but the brakes are standard mechanical jobs.

So slamming on the brakes have effect whether the accelerator is pressed down or not.

petochok | 25 september 2013

Since the throttle is drive by wire, the brakes "win" in some new cars when both pedals are pressed because it is the throttle that is electronically cut, and not that the brakes are overpowering the engine.

Captain_Zap | 25 september 2013

I was amused by this particular NHTSA complaint. The complaintant didn't leave a VIN number. The webpage address referenced in the complaint looks odd. Especially note the end of the complaint.


Has someone been watching too many Iron Man movies?

Iowa92x | 25 september 2013

Cars are designed with brakes much more powerful than the engine/motor for safety reasons. Car and Driver ran the numbers on a BMW 3 series and concluded the brakes have a force equal to about 1,500 horsepower (don't recall the exact number). Point is if a car has unintended acceleration, the brakes will win if applied. In this case, sounds like she wrecked before brakes were applied.

Roamer@AZ USA | 25 september 2013

Amped Realtor,

Benefit of doubt is a nice thought. But, I have lived long enough to find that a large portion of humanity goes thru life clueless. Over time you learn to be skeptical.

99% sure the driver twisted around to look back and hammered the gas thinking it was the brake. Case closed.

But filing the report is a way to extract money from the manufacturer to help with your loss.

jbunn | 25 september 2013

I verify what Tam reports. Pushing both the throttle and the brake make it very difficult to stop the car. I've almost hit another car once, and a pedestrian the other time. I have very wide feet, and it's not that hard.

We had this discussion last winter on this forum. Like some here, I was a firm believer that the brake MUST take priority over the throttle. After 7 months of driving my Tesla, my opinion is even more solidified. We can't ever solve the problem of a person using the wrong pedal. But we can add throttle cutoff to the brake pedal.

Our cars have a switch that makes the brake light come on when the pedal is depressed. It's simple enough to have the accelerator become disabled when this switch is activated.

Iowa92x | 25 september 2013

Pressing throttle and brake at same time takes longer to stop, but brakes will win. Physics. Doesn't help much though if you don't stop soon enough and collide.

Robert22 | 25 september 2013

The pedals would benefit from being further apart. If you've got a size 13 dress shoe you've hit two pedals before or caught a lip lifting your foot.

The server data doesn't lie. I expect them to make short work of this complaint for the reasons mentioned above. Trust but verify.

jeffsstuff | 25 september 2013

Call me cynical but I suspect user error. Of course I also have a photograph that I took of a gentleman driving on the turnpike on the way to the Lincoln tunnel. He was driving while playing the trumpet! After seeing that, no manner of distracted driving surprises me.

S4WRXTTCS | 25 september 2013

In another thread someone said something about Tesla adjusting the pedal height after realizing that there were a few people that were accidentally hitting both the brake and the throttle.

It would be interesting to hear if this car had the new ones or the old ones. I'm also curious if Tesla in fact made the change, or did I get incorrect information.

S4WRXTTCS | 25 september 2013

In the Tesla MS hitting both the throttle and the brake is supposed to kill the throttle. After it does this it's supposed to be display an error message.

jat | 25 september 2013

I'm pretty sure the 92%/100% being discussed is referring to the signal from the accelerator pedal -- returning a value from 0-92 as designed. If it really did show 100% and the mechanical limits were 92%, then that would sounds like a sensor failure. However, that isn't presented in the streaming API, so I don't know how they would get that information if not from Tesla's diagnostics.

However, for something as critical as the accelerator, I suspect there would be redundant sensors.

I still suspect operator error.

Eryx | 25 september 2013

Operator error, I would have thought someone who could afford a 60-100k wouldn't be walking around looking for handouts. I was incorrect.

Brian H | 26 september 2013

If tesla's log shows 100% goose pedal depression, but the wife says she was pressing the brake, I'd be inclined to accept the former info.

jeffsstuff | 26 september 2013

@eryx, why, multibillion dollar corporations have been soliciting handouts from the government for years…

jat | 26 september 2013

@Eryx - I doubt it is looking for a handout as much as being embarrassed about wrecking the car and wanting to believe it wasn't their mistake.