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Tesla’s getting investigated by the government (again)

Will Tesla be able to push a software update for this?

tesla steering wheel
Image: Unsplash

Tesla hasn’t had a trouble-free month for ages now, and it looks like 2020 is going to continue that thread. That’s because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently deciding whether to investigate over 500,000 of its vehicles for “sudden unexpected acceleration” issues.

That’s according to Reuters, which goes on to say that the petition the NHTSA is looking at consists of 127 consumer complaints, and nearly that many crashes.

The NHTSA is about to look into half a million Tesla vehicles

According to its practices, anyone could petition the NHTSA to look into alleged safety defects. The next step is a technical analysis to see if the petition has merit, and then the agency’s Office of Defects Investigation either moves forward with the investigation or doesn’t.

The petition that the NHTSA is currently evaluating includes the following:

  • 127 consumer complaints, 123 unique vehicles, 110 crashes and 52 injuries make up the bones of the petition
  • Affected Tesla vehicles include the Model S (2012 – 2019 model year), Model X (2016 – 2019), and Model 3 (2018 – 2019). That’s some 500,000 vehicles in total
  • It’s not the only NHTSA investigation in play, vehicle fires due to malfunctioning batteries are also under the microscope, as is a Dec. 29 crash of a Tesla Model 3 which left a passenger dead
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is having a public hearing in February regarding a fatal Tesla crash in Mountain View, California in 2017

If found to have merit, this might be an even bigger problem for Tesla than any of the other times it has been investigated, simply by the number of vehicles involved.

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