Are Tesla Sudden Unintended Acceleration Deaths a Repeat of 1980s Audi 5000 Defects?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1989 issued it’s bold final report on the Audi 5000 “sudden unintended acceleration problem.”

The NHTSA fully exonerated the German car maker by asserting pedals placed closer together than in other cars caused confusion. It was reasoned (especially models with “cruise control”) that the gas would be pressed mistakenly by Americans instead of the brake.

NHTSA appeared [repeatedly] to embrace Audi’s “driver error” theory

The craziest footnote to the NHTSA appearing to work for Audi was how they falsely alleged victims were midgets on drugs.

…Jeff Miller, deputy administrator for NHTSA, told the Chicago Tribune: “Our society is litigation happy. People tend to point the blame anywhere but at themselves. A person drives a car half stoned and gets in an accident, he still blames the car.”

Even with the NHTSA calling American drivers too short and stupid to drive an Audi it couldn’t overcome the 5000 model being seen as defective. Sales plummeted such that by 1991 a little over 10K were sold.

Fast forward to today, no pun intended, and someone wants you to believe even long-time Tesla drivers can’t figure out how their pedals work — they may as well be pressing a 1986 Audi 5000 gas pedal straight to their death.

According to Florida Highway Patrol troopers, the investigation determined the driver of the [2015] Telsa pressed the gas pedal instead of the brakes causing the vehicle to accelerate.

Tesla again could be found defective by design not least of all because its engineers were supposed to account for such well known risks. The flaccid NHTSA gave Audi the green light to blame its victims, so has that been the only lesson Tesla had learned… even ignoring the infamous Mark Saylor tragedy disproving driver fault? It seems so.

Worse, Tesla defends itself by flagrantly ignoring transparency. They say “we can examine exactly what happened” as if nobody else should; in other words they are not allowing anyone (not even the owner of the car, and thus the real data owner) to do real time independent analysis.

In an age when data is supposed to be more interoperable and standardized, more easily shared at high speed, this car company acts like it is writing encoded secrets to stone tablets that evaporate in sunlight. If they told you what the logs really said… they’d have to kill you too.

Tesla “reports” are about as convincing as Enron saying “we looked at our books and they’re functioning properly”. No wonder they relocated to Texas to avoid accountability.

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