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Watch Tesla Model 3 Smash Through the Doors of the Columbus Convention Center at 70 MPH

A Tesla Model 3 taxicab that failed to stop at red light smashed into the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 70 mph. Just like in other similar cases, the driver said the car would not brake. Nevertheless, the NTSB decided against investigating Tesla in this case.
Tesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention Center 7 photos
Tesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention CenterTesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention CenterTesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention CenterTesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention CenterTesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention CenterTesla Model 3 smashes through the doors of the Columbus Convention Center
Last December, a horrific accident involving a Tesla Model 3 taxicab had 20 people wounded in Paris. The driver blamed the car for accelerating on itself and not responding to braking. It was not the first accident of this type, aptly named “sudden unintended acceleration” or SUA. And it would not be the last, as a recent high-profile accident in Columbus, Ohio has proven. Coincidentally, this is also a Tesla model 3 taxicab and its driver made the same claim, the car accelerated on itself and braking was impossible.

The witnesses said the car was traveling at a high-speed rate eastbound on Vine Street, went through a red light at North High Street, and struck the curb in front of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The video below shows the car going airborne and flying over the top of large concrete planters on the sidewalk that were designed to stop vehicles from hitting the building. The Tesla then crashed through the glass doors of the convention center and hit a pole. Fortunately, although hurt, the driver escaped with no life-threatening injuries.

According to Columbus Dispatch, the driver, 63-year-old Frantz Jules, told police that he could not slow down the car, which stabilized at 70 mph (113 kph). This might point to an SUA event, but the NTSB decided to not start an investigation in this regard, without explaining the decision. There are controversies around such accidents, with drivers often blaming the car for their mistakes.

Just like in the case of the Paris accident, the Tesla Model 3 was driven by a relatively elderly driver in its 60s. They are supposedly less accustomed to the technology and the power of a modern EV. This is especially true when the taxi company only recently started to use Teslas, as revealed by the Columbus Dispatch.

In some earlier cases, the drivers engaged adaptive cruise control on the highway and forgot about that when in the city. The car would then strongly accelerate to the set speed when the path becomes clear, which might appear to the driver as sudden unintended acceleration. Certainly, the 70 mph speed indicated by the driver appears to support this hypothesis.

A lot of people indicated in comments to the video that EVs don’t work as regular cars do, as they mostly rely on regenerative braking. Just by lifting the foot off the accelerator, the car would slow down pretty strongly. In the case of Tesla vehicles, pressing the brake pedal would deactivate the accelerator pedal by design. It looks like NTSB took all these into account when they decided to not follow up with the investigation in this case.



 
 
 
 
 

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