Over 750 Tesla Owners Have Now Reported Instances of “Phantom Braking”

There have been 400 more complaints in the U.S. since NHTSA began an investigation into the issue in February

A white Tesla in Edmonton. The NHTSA has said there are now over 750 complaints about phantom braking in Teslas in the US.
Model 3s and Model Ys from the 2021 and 2022 model years are covered in the investigation.
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Whether you’re in a cutting-edge electric car or a vintage model from a century ago, one thing is generally true when it comes to driving: you expect the car you’re driving to stop when you use the brakes, and not at any other time. But an alarming new report suggests that a not insignificant number of Tesla owners are finding their cars braking at unexpected times.

That’s the claim at the heart of a new Associated Press report. According to the article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been looking into the “phantom braking” issue since February, at which time it had received 354 complaints regarding Tesla Model 3s and Model Ys.

The good news — to the extent that there can be good news in a situation like this — is that the agency said there were no injuries reported, as of February, when any of these braking incidents occurred. The bad news is that, four months later, the NHTSA has now received over 750 complaints from Tesla owners in the U.S. who have experienced the same phenomenon.

The NHTSA has requested an abundance of information from Tesla, including “all consumer and field reports it has received about false braking, as well as reports of crashes, injuries, deaths and property damage claims.” According to the article, the investigation encompasses 416,000 vehicles released over two model years — 2021 and 2022. One hopes the reason for these seemingly random braking episodes is found and resolved quickly.

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