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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Greek Engineer Information NHTSA Petition To Require Tesla Software program Replace To Each Tesla Bought Since 2013

Costas Lakafossis is an engineer and accident investigator primarily based in Athens, Greece. He has filed a petition with the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) asking that it recall each Tesla offered since 2013. Why? As a result of the vehicles are in a position to shift instantly from drive into reverse with out the motive force needing to the touch the brake pedal. “I’m not turning in opposition to Tesla. I simply wished to spotlight the damaging deficiency of automobiles that may price lives. I felt I had the duty to alert the US authorities,” he tells the Greek Reporter.

Lakafossis will not be some nut job trying to entice followers on social media. In reality, in the intervening time he is among the folks investigating the collision between a passenger prepare and a freight prepare close to Tempi, Greece, in February that killed 57 folks. The passenger prepare ignored a number of alerts warning of the prepare forward. Investigators — together with Lakafossis — try to find out why the passenger prepare was on the mistaken monitor and why it didn’t heed the warning alerts.

Lakafossis says he started wanting on the Tesla challenge after a Tesla driver misplaced management of his car in Athens as he was making an attempt to park outdoors his workplace. As an alternative of the automobile braking, it inexplicably accelerated, smashing in opposition to different vehicles and a wall. “I watched the video from a safety digital camera. It was a horrifying accident. The driving force felt betrayed by his good automobile,” Lakafossis instructed the Greek Reporter.

As a part of his investigation, he got here throughout a video of the same accident involving a Tesla in China during which two folks had been killed. He says related accidents have occurred in France and South Korea.

A Tesla Get together Trick


Picture Credit score: Kyle Discipline

Within the prolonged technical doc submitted by Lakafossis to NHTSA, Tesla is accused of introducing “particular options” that encourage sudden unintended acceleration occasions which have led to accidents and accidents. “One such ‘particular function’ is the power of the automobile to cease and shift into reverse gear when the motive force is able to park, with out the requirement of an precise brake pedal activation,” says Lakafossis. “There isn’t any sensible profit for this probably harmful ‘occasion trick’.”

In his petition, Lakafossis factors out that because the Eighties, vehicles have had what is called a brake transmission shift interlock that requires drivers to use the brakes earlier than they will shift into reverse. He asserts the brake interlock function reduces situations of sudden unintended acceleration in automobiles with computerized transmissions. The function has been required in new automobiles since 2010. In reality, many people have been conditioned by expertise to press the brake pedal earlier than partaking reverse gear.

“After proactively fixing the issue of SUA accidents within the Eighties, right this moment it appears that evidently we’re shifting in the wrong way, permitting a driver to pick out reverse gear whereas nonetheless driving ahead with out asking for a brake pedal software, actively encouraging drivers to take pleasure in ‘feet-off computerized braking and parking’,” Lakafossis says. He provides that the removing of each toes from the pedals is a significant component contributing to the elevated threat of pedal misapplication errors, and factors to quite a lot of accidents in paperwork submitted to NHTSA.

In the end, Lakafossis recommends disallowing the present function and requiring drivers to press the brake pedal earlier than shifting from drive to reverse in Tesla cars. He suggests the best strategy to make the change could be by an over-the-air software program replace.

“As an instantaneous measure to boost street security, I hereby ask you to grant the petition to recall all Tesla vehicles with a view to add a software program interlock to their management system, requiring the motive force to press the brake pedal earlier than permitting the automobile to completely cease and reverse gear to interact,” wrote Lakafossis within the petition.

“Additional measures in regards to the [random] nature of computerized braking also needs to be thought of, as it could encourage the occasional full removing of the motive force’s toes from the pedals, which has been discovered to be a mandatory situation of all kinds of pedal misapplication errors.”

For its half, NHTSA says it can consider the petition and the allegations is comprises. It’s going to then think about them in opposition to its personal discipline information to find out if the petition needs to be granted or denied. If the petition is granted, it can open a defect investigation, which can result in a recall, Carscoops says.

Below extraordinary circumstances, we would have reached out to Tesla to get its tackle this petition, however Tesla doesn’t reply to PR inquiries, so we don’t even hassle any extra.

Frequent Sense Is Missing

Tesla house owners know Elon Musk’s fascination with what Lakafossis calls “occasion tips.” Drivers can inform the audio system to ship fart noises to any a part of the automobile, an digital model of the ever common whoopee cushion. There’s a gentle present function obtainable that flashes all of the lights in sequence. That function can now be shared wirelessly with different Teslas in shut proximity.

However whereas the power to shift into reverse with out touching the brake is spectacular, it does fall beneath the heading of a “occasion trick,” one thing to amaze and amuse your folks and neighbors with how unbelievably cool your Tesla is. As wondrous as which may be, it’s unneeded if there’s a threat of significant harm or dying from utilizing it. Within the closing evaluation, a automobile will not be a toy. It’s a 2+ ton mobility machine that may pose a severe threat to life and limb if used irresponsibly. If the transmission/brake interlock has been required since 2010, how has Tesla been allowed to promote vehicles that aren’t in compliance?

When he first heard about this, one in every of my colleagues took his Tesla out on the CleanTechnica check monitor the place we carry out evaluations of the whole lot from e-bikes to supercars. A lot to his shock, he was certainly in a position to shift from drive to reverse with out touching the brake pedal. He by no means realized such a factor was doable earlier than as a result of he, like most drivers, has been conditioned over time to use the brakes earlier than shifting to reverse.

As my previous Irish grandmother would say, on this case, Elon Musk and his merry pranksters have been too intelligent by half. We anticipate this example to turn out to be the topic of an NHTSA recall motion quickly. There may be merely no legitimate cause to permit this hazardous function to stay uncorrected.

Hat tip to Dan Allard, who, when he isn’t baling hay or feeding chickens, has time to do issues like learn the Greek Reporter. 


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