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Tesla Autopilot in Fender Bender With a Police Car

» Posted February 3, 2020Resources | Share This Post

A recent run in between a Tesla and a police cruiser highlights ongoing safety concerns regarding the luxury electric car’s semi autonomous autopilot setting.

A Tesla Model 3 driver in Connecticut had the vehicle in autopilot when it rear-ended a stopped police car, CNBC reports. The driver said he was checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash happened.

The collision occurred overnight in Norwalk, where a police officer had stopped his cruiser to attend to a disabled vehicle. The Tesla Model 3, whose driver was cited for reckless driving and reckless endangerment, struck both vehicles. The driver was not injured in the crash.

The autopilot function is designed to allow cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically while staying in their lane. CNBC says Tesla user manuals urge drivers to remain alert and keep their hands on the wheel at all times. But the crash is the latest in a number of instances in which autopilot drivers have been disregarding that advice, including by sleeping behind the wheel.

The crash is also just the most recent involving a Tesla in autopilot mode. A Model S was engaged in autopilot when the car slammed into a fire truck in Culver City last year. A Tesla sport utility vehicle driver in California was killed in 2018 when the car collided with a freeway barrier near Redwood City.

Legal Rights for California Car Owners

As the Tesla crashes show, even the most cutting edge technology cannot necessarily prevent an accident. Unfortunately, carmakers often still struggle with producing vehicles that are safe for the road. Hundreds of thousands of cars are recalled each year for serious defects that pose significant safety hazards.

That is where the California lemon law comes in. The law forces car manufacturers to repair vehicles while they are under warranty and to buy back vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes picking up the tab for the purchase price, financing charges and related expenses, as well as any legal fees that a car owner incurs while enforcing his or her rights under the law.

There is no specific number of repair attempts or requests that must be made before the buy-back obligation kicks in. That is why it is important to consult a seasoned California lemon law attorney.

Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney

If you are a car owner or lessor who has been stuck with a malfunctioning vehicle, an experienced California lemon law attorney can provide vital assistance. A lawyer can help you weigh your rights and options to ensure that the carmaker is held fully accountable.

At the Bickel Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We work tirelessly to get the people we represent the compensation they deserve and we have a strong track record of success for the people that we represent.

Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.  Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.


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