A trip to the nail salon nearly turned into a harrowing experience for a woman and a gym of go-getters anxious to get their Sunday swole on. The car first crashed into a karate studio — which would normally be full of kids, but had recently relocated — before plowing right through that building and into a second wall at a neighboring Anytime Fitness.
In security footage obtained by ABC Action News, we see the black Tesla Model X crashing through the wall and nearly mowing down a local man exiting a treadmill. The woman behind the wheel, according to authorities, claims to have been pressing on the brakes while the car continued to accelerate — ultimately ending up on the wrong end of not one, but two walls. No one was hurt in the incident.
A Tesla spokesperson told TNW:
We take the safety of our customers very seriously and we’re glad our customer is safe. We investigate the vehicle diagnostic logs in every accident in which a driver claims their car “suddenly” and “unexpectedly” accelerated, and in every case the vehicle’s diagnostic logs confirm that the vehicle operated as designed. Accidents involving “pedal misapplication,” in which a driver presses the accelerator pedal by mistake, occur in all types of vehicles, not just Teslas. The accelerator pedals in Tesla vehicles have two redundant sensors that clearly show us when the pedal is physically pressed down, such as by the driver’s foot.
What the spokesperson is describing is a number of built-in fail-safe measures designed to prevent exactly this type of incident.
If left to speculate, there appear to be two likely causes: mistaking the gas and brake pedal in a panic, or underestimating the real-time acceleration due to Tesla’s (and other electric cars) instant torque. Or, as Jalopnik put it:
The acceleration on Teslas is also much quicker than most gas-powered cars, since electric cars have instant torque, meaning that if someone were to accidentally punch down on the accelerator things can go south fast.
This is yet another reason I don’t work out on weekends… or, ever.