Tesla Model S Gas Pedal Snaps Off After Driver Tries Showing Off Launch Mode

Evan Williams
by Evan Williams
tesla model s gas pedal snaps off after driver tries showing off launch mode

One Tesla owner got a big shock yesterday as his accelerator pedal snapped off while driving.

The story comes from user benjiejr on the Tesla Motor Club forum. He was showing off his Model S P85D to a friend and his nephew. After going through the car’s features it was time to show off the massive acceleration of the P85D’s twin electric motors and 503 horsepower.

“I turned around and was going to do another launch, but this time without Launch Mode – just stomp on the pedal – like I do most often. When I punched it, the accelerator pedal broke off.”

Having a pedal fail, whether it’s the accelerator or brake, is a huge shock and can deliver quite a scare behind the wheel. Fortunately, in a Tesla, when you release the accelerator (or in this case, when it snaps off) the car thinks you’re just coasting and goes into regenerative braking. On a quiet back road, like the one this driver was on, that means a safe roll to the shoulder. On a major highway, sudden braking could be much more dangerous.

A look at what’s left of the pedal assembly shows that it’s a hollow square arm. The arm looks to be plastic, which was confirmed by the owner of the car. The pedal appears to have snapped off where it hits the pedal stop under the dash. Normally pedal arms are made from steel or some other metal, but plastic pieces have become more common in recent years.

Fortunately for this Tesla owner, everything ended safely and the car was repaired the next day. But this was a serious event, and the owner reported it to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration. It reviews all complaints of vehicle safety and, if situations warrant it, has the authority to open investigations.

This is not the first time a Tesla pedal has been reported broken, though it is unclear whether it occurs when people really stomp on it while showing off, or during normal operation.

[Images: Tesla, Tesla Motors Club]

A version of this story first appeared on HybridCars.com

Join the conversation
2 of 62 comments
  • Vulpine Vulpine on Jun 26, 2017

    Better that it was the accelerator and not the brake. Much better a car that can't move than a car that can't stop, though a broken brake pedal wouldn't keep it from stopping. People gotta learn that they just can't horse around modern cars the way they used to do the old ones. Today's cars are designed to sacrifice themselves to protect their passengers. By whatever means necessary. And this one obviously broke because someone was showing off.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jun 26, 2017

    There are other examples in the language of when terms that are meaningfully obsolete continue to be used. Language doesn't necessarily shift when technology does. Here are some examples https://www.quora.com/What-common-phrases-are-derived-from-obsolete-technologies

  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?