According to Reuters the National Road Safety Agency announced on Friday that it is considering launching an investigation into the "sudden unexpected acceleration" of 500,000 Tesla vehicles.
The petition deals with vehicles of the type Tesla Model S (model year 2012-2019), X (2016-2019) and 3 (2018-2019), Reuters . There are also 127 customer complaints, 123 individual vehicles, 110 accidents and 52 injuries. A Tesla spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"As is the agency's usual practice in such matters, the NHTSA will carefully review the petition and relevant data," said a spokesman for the agency in a statement.
Anyone can submit a petition requesting the NHTSA to investigate an alleged security deficiency. After carrying out a technical analysis, the Agency's Office for Deficiency Investigations will inform the petitioner whether an investigation will be initiated.
This is not the first time Tesla has been accused of malfunctioning vehicles. In November 2018, the electric car maker resolved a class action lawsuit from customers who claimed that their S and X models would suddenly accelerate without warning. Another lawsuit was filed last year by Mena Massoud, the star of Disney's live action Aladdin who claimed that improper suspension caused his Model 3 wheel to jump off a day after purchase. Most recently, NHTSA launched an investigation into vehicle fire complaints related to battery management systems in some S and X vehicles.
Tesla has also come under fire due to safety concerns related to its advanced driver assistance system, autopilot. The National Transportation Safety Board announced yesterday that it would hold a public hearing in February to determine the likely cause of a Tesla's fatal crash in Mountain View, California, in 2017.
There have been a number of reports of Tesla owner vehicle crashes while using the autopilot, and a handful of people killed while using the autopilot. According to Tesla, drivers who use autopilot are safer than drivers who don't.