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Model S Concerns May Be Overblown

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) shares held onto gains, finishing up 1.6% at $185.28 despite a story that one of its popular Model S cars accelerated unintended. The unintended acceleration may not be the fault of the car, however.

According to a source close to the situation, Tesla has looked at the service logs for the vehicle "with a fine tooth comb," finding conflicting results with the filed report.

One Model S owner complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that his wife was leaving the couple's driveway, when the car accelerated suddenly, hitting a curb. The owner says the car was going approximately 5 mph down the driveway, when the car accelerated, hitting the curb, with a portion of the car landing on a retaining wall.

The driver said a Tesla engineer told him the car accelerated from 18% to 100% "in a split second," though the engineer also said there was a built-in safeguard which prevented the accelerator from going beyond 92%.

The NHTSA recently awarded the Tesla Model S a 5-star safety rating.

Greenautoblog was the first to report the complaint to the NHTSA.

Tesla confirmed to TheStreet that it is looking into the matter.

In other Model S-related news, Hertz (HTZ) announced it would be offering the Model S and Roadster for rent at airports as part of an expansion of its Dream Cars package.

"Customer and industry support for Hertz's Dream Cars has been overwhelming, so adding the Tesla Model S to the already outstanding fleet was an easy choice," said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and CEO. "The ability to offer a truly unique driving experience to Hertz customers is a thrill, and the addition of this vehicle shows the passion we have in offering the best and most diverse fleet to our customers."

The Model S is available at both San Francisco and Los Angeles airports, and Hertz is offering the 85 kWh model, capable of going 265 miles in a single charge.

TheStreet recently reviewed the Model S with the P85 kWh battery. You can read the full review here.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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