Tesla has spoken up against the NHTSA petition claiming that Teslas accelerate on their own: “This petition is completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller.”
This means that Tesla claims the complaints have been conjured by someone whose interests lie in the devaluing of Tesla shares – ie selling borrowed shares when the price is high, and buying them back for a profit when the price sinks – in this case, due to deliberate manipulation.
The Californian electric car pioneer claims to have investigated every incident “and in every case where we had the vehicle’s data, we confirmed that the car operated as designed”. It is a bit mystifying then, where the complaints come from, and in the case that they were gathered by a short-seller, how the Tesla owners were convinced to make the complaints.
Since Tesla is at the forefront of electric car manufacturing, certainly the largest purely electric car manufacturer globally, many people’s first experience of an electric car is with Tesla. This means any adjustments that drivers may have to make for electric cars are attributed to Tesla, rather than the difference between electric motoring and conventional combustion engines. In any case, Tesla has the task of navigating this testing ground not only for technical expertise but also for customer and public attitudes.
In their statement, Tesla said “We are transparent with NHTSA, and routinely review customer complaints of unintended acceleration with them.” What remains to be seen is what the NHTSA makes of it all.
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