There was a tragic accident involving a Tesla Model Y on the morning of November 5th in China. Fortunately, the car owner is alive to give his accounts. But tragically, 2 other people, including a high school girl on a bicycle, were killed. 

The Tesla owner is a 55-year-old truck driver who owns a cement store.

He says he was nearing his office parking lot in his Tesla, when the brakes began feeling hard & abnormal. Normally, Teslas have regenerative braking & start slowing themselves down as you release the accelerator pedal, but the owner said it seemed to be all-the-sudden malfunctioning in that moment. The car owner managed to get the Tesla almost stopped on the side of the road, in front of his office (you can notice a bit of confusion from the car). But then the Tesla unexpectedly began to accelerate… and stayed under heavy throttle for 1.5 miles.

The Tesla owner says he never hit the accelerator pedal…

But claims that he tried throughout the whole 1.5 miles to repeatedly stomp on the brakes, hoping the car would reengage & come to a stop. He said he was instinctively looking for a large obstacle to stop/slow the car, but that as the Tesla gained more & more speed, that became an impossible scenario. He should have put it in the trees/bushes immediately before veering back out on the road, but hindsight’s 20/20. In the moment, I’m sure he was just trying to process the situation. About halfway into the 1.5 miles, the Tesla struck a motorcycle that was traveling in the same direction, killing the rider. Ultimately, the Tesla Model Y hit a vehicle, which caused the Tesla to spin around & hit a teenage girl on her bike (killing her), just before finally colliding with a dump truck… which stopped the Tesla & knocked the driver unconscious. No substances were found in his system.

The Tesla owner & Tesla are telling different stories.

Basically, the car owner is saying that the Tesla had some sort of software malfunction, and that the brakes failed & car accelerated on its own without input. Tesla claims that it must be user error, and to trust the technology. They also claim that the driver never hit the brakes, because the brake lights weren’t on. Ironically though, the technology of video surveillance does show the brake lights of the Tesla to be illuminated at times. At other times, they are not. The Tesla owner says he was trying to pump the brakes, hoping that they would reengage. Additionally, the Tesla owner drives a truck for a living. So we can assume he has a certain level of operational competence. It’s surprising that Tesla would/could eliminate any vehicle malfunction so quickly.

Another possibility…

Could potentially point to Tesla’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC). If the driver unknowingly activated TACC, the Tesla could have been seeing open road ahead & been attempting to accelerate to a previously set cruise control speed? I’m not electrical engineer, nor am I a software engineer, or even an EV guru. But I know what race cars do. And maybe, if it doesn’t already exist, there needs to be some sort full-kill switch in EVs where a driver can absolutely kill ALL power in the event of a potentially disastrous situation like this.