Just days ago we reported that the NHTSA was evaluating a petition claiming that 500,000 Tesla vehicles are subject to "unintended acceleration" incidents. In response to the petition, the NHTSA said it was going to be considering an investigation, but there has been no final word on any action (or lack thereof) yet.
But over the weekend, we were finally treated to Tesla's perfunctory and predictable "official" response to the news, which has of course been to blame short sellers.
In a blog post posted on Monday titled "There is no 'unintended acceleration' in Tesla vehicles", Tesla claims that the problem is just a figment of everyone's imagination and that evil short sellers are to blame.
"This petition is completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller," the post says. "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. In other words, the car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake."
Well that makes us feel better...
The company also claims that Autopilot sensors (because they've worked so well) and company owned and managed data about its vehicles support its defense.
Unique to Tesla, we also use the Autopilot sensor suite to help distinguish potential pedal misapplications and cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when we’re confident the driver’s input was unintentional. Each system is independent and records data, so we can examine exactly what happened.
But then, despite trying to place the blame on shorts, Tesla seems to backhandedly admit that there are customer complaints about the very same issue.
The blog post concludes: "We are transparent with NHTSA, and routinely review customer complaints of unintended acceleration with them. Over the past several years, we discussed with NHTSA the majority of the complaints alleged in the petition. In every case we reviewed with them, the data proved the vehicle functioned properly."
Hopefully, the next body we hear from with regard to this petition is the NHTSA.
Although, judging by Tesla's past success in swiping away extremely serious issues and sweeping them under the rug of blaming short sellers without addressing key issues, we're not optimistic about the outcome.
The NHTSA petition news came just days after we reported that the NTSB would be investigating a fatal Tesla Model X crash in February.