That's what happens when the pedal arm is made of plastic and not metal.
This was clearly not what the owner of a brand new Tesla Model S was expecting when he showed off his new ride to a friend and his nephew. A user on the Tesla Motor Forum, "benjiejr," has posted about what happened during that demo. The photo he also shared says it all: a broken accelerator pedal in his hand. After he explained to his passengers the car’s features and capabilities, it was time for a performance demonstration. The highway was used for the autopilot, while a back country road was where they could do some launches.
The owner had Max Battery ON and did a launch with Launch Mode, and things went just fine. But then he turned around to do another launch, only without Launch Mode this time. This required him stomping on the accelerator, which he’s done many times before. Only this time the accelerator snapped off. Fortunately, the regenerative braking kicked in immediately and the Model S quickly coasted to safety on the shoulder. Obviously the owner was shocked, but he didn’t panic. He simply called Tesla roadside assistance and they came and towed the car to the Tesla San Antonio Service Center, and called him an Uber home. The (plastic) accelerator pedal has since been replaced.
Yes, the pedal arm in a Tesla Model S is apparently made out of plastic, instead of metal. The owner/driver was lucky he wasn’t driving on a crowded road or highway at the time of the snapping, otherwise, well, let’s leave it there. Supposedly this isn’t the first time a Tesla pedal has broken like this, and many users and owners on the forum are now calling for Tesla to issue a recall. The owner in this case has already reported the incident to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.