A man claims a Tesla ‘suddenly and automatically’ took off, forcing him to intentionally crash it to avoid hitting people



Revel
Tesla Model Y.
Tim Levin/Insider
  • A man in New York is suing Tesla after he says a vehicle “suddenly and automatically” accelerated.
  • His lawyer told Insider he maneuvered the car to avoid hitting anyone and had to crash it to stop.
  • Last week, Tesla recalled over a million cars in China, citing their regenerative braking system.

A man in New York is suing Tesla after he says one of their vehicles “suddenly and automatically” accelerated, causing him to crash it in order to stop it and avoid hitting people nearby.

The lawsuit, filed this week in New York State Supreme Court, says Akm Shamsuzzaman showed up for work at Revel Transit, where he was employed as a driver, on January 29 and was assigned to drive a Tesla that day. But things went south after he started the Tesla, the lawsuit claims.

“He had his foot on the brake. He put the car into drive, took his foot off the brake, and then the car jumped forward,” Daniel Shimko, Shamsuzzaman’s attorney, told Insider, adding Shamsuzzaman went through the normal routine for starting a Tesla. 

Shimko explained that as soon as Shamsuzzaman took his foot off the brake, he lost control of the Tesla. Even after he put his foot back on the break, the car would not stop, Shimko added. Shamsuzzaman also tried putting the car back into park but that didn’t work either.

“He had to crash the car to get it to stop,” Shimko said, adding that Shamsuzzaman was able to crash the Tesla into another open parking space and avoid hitting anyone else.

Shimko said Shamsuzzaman was not severely injured in the incident. He is seeking undetermined damages.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Tesla has previously denied that its vehicles experienced “unintended acceleration.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted an investigation into reports of accelerating Teslas, looking into more than 200 crash incidents, and concluded it was user error. Specifically, the NHTSA found Tesla drivers were mistaking the accelerator for the brake.

However, last week Tesla said it was recalling more than 1 million of its vehicles sold in China, citing an issue with their regenerative braking system that Chinese regulators said could cause unintended acceleration.

In February, Tesla recalled more than 326,000 cars due to a software issue that could cause the vehicles to act “unsafe” in intersections.

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