Tesla fires back at 'sudden acceleration' accusations

Is a Tesla short-seller behind the allegations against the company?

Tesla is firing back against allegations of “unintended acceleration” in its vehicles.

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In a company blog post published Monday, which was also shared on Twitter, titled, "There is no 'unintended acceleration' in Tesla vehicles" the company alleges a short-seller is behind the report the company says is false.

This petition is completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller. 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.

- Tesla Blog, January 20, 2020

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened its review of a petition seeking an investigation into 500,000 Tesla vehicles with unintended acceleration issues.

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"NHTSA has received a defect petition regarding claims of sudden unintended acceleration in certain Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles," the NHTSA told FOX Business in a statement. "As is the agency’s standard practice in such matters, NHTSA will carefully review the petition and relevant data."

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Short-sellers, investors who bet a company's stock will fall, have long taunted Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Over the past few months, the shorts have been burned as Tesla shares have rebounded, roughly doubling, after the company turned a surprise profit in the third quarter and separately exceed select sales targets.

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The stock crossed the $500 level for the first time ever.

The company also concludes it is "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."

FOX Business' Audrey Conklin and Jonathan Garber contributed to this report. 

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