An estimated 500,000 Tesla vehicles pose the risk of exhibiting sudden unintended acceleration, according to Reuters, and a petition filed to NHTSA on behalf of Tesla owners.
If the petition is approved, NHTSA will investigate the widespread claims across Tesla's model lineup.
The sudden acceleration claim alleges defects in the 2012-2019 Tesla Model S, the 2016-2019 Tesla Model X, and the 2018-2019 Tesla Model 3. The petition cites 127 consumer complaints, 110 crashes, and 52 injuries.
For NHTSA to consider a petition, it must contain relevant data supported by facts, rather than just filed complaints.
The NHTSA site shows numerous "vehicle speed control" complaints filed by owners of Model S, Model X, and Model 3. "The vehicle spontaneously accelerated without warning," the owner of a 2015 Tesla Model S 85 complained on November 5, 2019. The owner claims the vehicle was on Autopilot, Tesla's driver-assistance system, when the incident occurred.
The agency is reviewing the petition, which could lead to an investigation and subsequent recall. The petition is reminiscent of the Toyota sudden unintended acceleration recall from a decade ago, which affected some Prius models.
"NHTSA encourages the public to contact the agency with safety concerns, including any related to these vehicles, online at NHTSA.gov or by calling 888-327-4236," the agency said in a statement.