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'Car Accelerates Only If The Driver Told It To Do So:' Tesla

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Luxury electric car maker Tesla, Inc. confirmed that there is no "unintended acceleration" in Tesla vehicles and that the car will only accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so. The car will also slow down or stop only when the driver applies the brake.

The car maker was responding to a petition on "sudden unintended acceleration" made last week by a petitioner, who it called a "Tesla short-seller." These types of investors sell a company's stock with plans to buy it back at a cheaper price later. The company said the petition is completely false.

The petition was filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA by an independent investor Brian Sparks. The petition claims acceleration issues with about 500,000 Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2019.

The NHTSA said Friday that it would "carefully review the petition and relevant data" and will decide whether to launch a full investigation on the matter.

Tesla said it investigated the allegation where the driver alleges that their vehicle accelerated contrary to their input. In every case where the company had the vehicle's data, it was confirmed that the car operated as designed.

The company added that the accelerator pedals in Model S, X and 3 vehicles have two independent position sensors, and if there is any error, the system defaults to cut off motor torque.

Tesla further states that applying the brake pedal simultaneously with the accelerator pedal will override the accelerator pedal input and cut off motor torque, and regardless of the torque, sustained braking will stop the car.

"We are transparent with NHTSA, and routinely review customer complaints of unintended acceleration with them," Tesla noted.

Tesla's Autopilot system has faced much criticism following many fatal U.S. crashes involving Tesla vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board earlier said the system's design permitted the driver to disengage from the driving task.

According to Tesla, Autopilot enables the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane. But, the system does not make the vehicle autonomous.

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