NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said on Thursday that the agency was reviewing the nondisclosure agreements to see if they had impeded owners from making complaints.
Tesla said in a blog post late on Thursday that it "has never and would never ask a customer to sign a document to prevent them from talking to NHTSA or any other government agency." But the company said it often requires customers to sign a "goodwill agreement" with a nondisclosure clause when the company agrees to cover or discount repairs even if it is not responsible.
Tesla noted the agreement did not mention NHTSA, and said it did not intend to stop customers from communicating problems to the agency.
NHTSA said on Thursday it "learned of Tesla's troublesome non-disclosure agreement last month. The agency immediately informed Tesla that any language implying that consumers should not contact the agency regarding safety concerns is unacceptable."