Tesla denies unintended acceleration claim by Model X owner

Tesla Motors is denying responsibility for an accident in which a Southern California owner of a Model X SUV alleges was the result of a malfunction on the electric vehicle. The driver last month filed a class-action lawsuit against the California-based electric-vehicle maker and is seeking more than $5 million in damages, according to Teslarati. The accident took place in September when the car, with the driver behind the wheel, accelerated through the back of his garage and plowed into his living room.

Tesla says that the car’s onboard data shows that the driver, Korean actor and singer Ji Chang Son, had the accelerator pedal floored at the time of the accident, suggesting that Mr. Son may have mistaken the accelerator pedal for the brake. The company also accused the driver of attempting to use his fame in Korea to besmirch Tesla and force it into a settlement.

«The evidence, including data from the car, conclusively shows that the crash was the result of Mr. Son pressing the accelerator pedal all the way to 100%,» a Tesla spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to Autoblog. «The evidence clearly shows the vehicle was not at fault. Our policy is to stand by the evidence and not to give in to ultimatums.»

In the lawsuit, the driver cites what he says are other, similar incidents of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) involving Model X vehicles, calculating that the SUA rate for the Model X is 64 per 100,000. That figure is far higher than the SUA rate for Toyota when that automaker had some similar, high-profile issues back in 2010.

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