After completing its review, however, the agency concluded there was no indication that faulty parts or a bad design caused of the incidents.
“The evidence shows that SUA crashes in the petitioner’s complaints were caused by pedal misapplication,” the agency said in a statement. “NHTSA found no evidence of fault in the accelerator pedal assemblies, motor control systems, or brake systems that contributed to the cited incidents. NHTSA also found no evidence of a design factor contributing to increased likelihood of pedal misapplication.”
Electric vehicles are capable of rapid acceleration typically only seen in high-end gas-powered cars, which could help explain accounts of Teslas jumping off from almost a standstill.
“NHTSA reminds drivers that they are responsible for their vehicle’s safe operation and manufacturers are encouraged to take further steps to educate new consumers on safe vehicle functionality,” the agency said in its statement.
Brian Sparks, the investor who filed the petition, said the rates of complaints about sudden acceleration incidents in Teslas were “astonishingly high” compared with other kinds of vehicles but that he accepted the findings of the federal review.
“If NHTSA says there is no defect then I consider the matter settled,” Sparks said. “I appreciate NHTSA’s work.”