- A Tesla driver is suing the automaker in a proposed class action lawsuit over phantom brakes.
- The EV owner said the issues are turning a “security feature into a terrifying and dangerous nightmare”.
- Earlier this year, the NHTSA said it was investigating Tesla over reports of unexpected braking.
A Tesla owner is suing the electric vehicle manufacturer in a proposed class action lawsuit, alleging its Model 3 brakes are “arbitrary and unexpected”.
Jose Alvarez Toledo filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court in California’s Northern District, Reuters first reported. The lawsuit accuses Tesla of concealing safety concerns related to its Autopilot system, violating warranties and “unjustly” taking advantage of the Autopilot driver assistance feature.
While the lawsuit requires approval to gain class action status, the claimants could join “hundreds of thousands” of Tesla drivers.
A Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from Insider before publication.
“Many Tesla owners have reported significant, unexpected delays and stops due to the incorrect engagement of their Class Vehicle braking systems, even though there were no objects nearby,” the complaint reads. “When the sudden accidental brake failure occurs, they turn what should be a safety feature into a terrifying and dangerous nightmare.”
Tesla has received complaints in the past about Sudden Unintended Braking, also known as phantom brakes.
In June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had received more than 750 complaints from Tesla owners who said their vehicles were braking for no reason. At the time, the agency said it was investigating about 416,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.
According to the report, phantom braking incidents most often occurred when they had engaged cruise control or Autopilot, a system that automatically accelerates, brakes and steers on highways.
Last year, Tesla was forced to roll back a version of its Full Self-Driving software due to reports of phantom braking. But The Washington Post reported in February that the issue only seemed to get worse as the number of complaints nearly tripled in just a few months.
Alvarez Toledo is seeking damages for the repair costs of the vehicles, a refund for the cost of Autopilot functions, and compensation for the depreciation of the car.
Tesla isn’t the only automaker facing reports of phantom brakes. Earlier this year, the NHTSA revealed it was investigating about 1.7 million Honda cars following complaints that the company’s braking system was causing vehicles to brake unexpectedly.
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