Tesla manufactures and sells electric plug-in vehicles that are owned by Texas residents and others across the nation. These cars are touted for their efficiency, low operating costs and positive effects on the environment. Later models of the vehicle feature an Autopilot function which enables self-driving. Although extensive safety testing was certainly conducted, the possibility of defective products still exists. Family members of a man who died in a crash while using the Autopilot feature recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesla.
A 38-year-old man from another state was killed in a crash in March 2018. According to reports, his car’s system did not correctly read the road’s lane lines nor properly recognize the existence of a concrete median. Rather than apply the brakes, the car sped up and struck the barrier. The lawsuit claims that the Autopilot feature was to blame for the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed in a report that Autopilot was being used when the accident occurred. Also, the report showed that the driver’s hands had been on the steering wheel prior to the collision, yet this was not detected by the car. Apparently, taking control of the wheel should have overridden the Autopilot function.
The lawsuit alleged that Tesla failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of the vehicle and falsely advertised its capabilities. Also included were claims of defective product design and product liability. A specific amount of damages sought was not included in the lawsuit. The company has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
It is tragic to lose a loved one in any circumstance. When defective products have contributed to these deaths, the losses are all the more horrific. Survivors of the victims may decide to pursue wrongful death litigation against companies deemed responsible. A Texas personal injury attorney can work with a family to obtain a successful outcome in a lawsuit that could provide compensation for funeral expenses and awards for other documented damages.