Tesla Crash Appears to be Another Autopilot Incident
Tesla’s controversial driver-assist Autopilot technology is once again in the spotlight following a fatal accident that killed two people in Texas.
It appears that no one was behind the wheel when a Model S recently crashed into a tree in Houston, leaving two passengers dead. Although it is not clear whether Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash, a local fire marshal report said one person was found in the front passenger seat while the other was found in a rear seat, according to Jalopnik.
That distinction is important: Tesla crashes across the country have raised questions about whether the vehicles have adequate Autopilot safeguards. The company has maintained that someone was in fact behind the wheel at the time of the crash.
Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering, reportedly said during an earnings call that the company determined that the car’s steering wheel was “deformed,” indicating that someone was sitting in the driver’s seat at the time of the collision. Moravy also said that all of the vehicle’s seat belts were unbuckled after the crash, which would have automatically prevented Autopilot from engaging.
Tesla recently got low marks for Autopilot in a recent European safety assessment. Evaluators said the driver-assist technology does not do enough to keep drivers focused.
A Florida driver had Autopilot engaged in his Tesla when the vehicle drove beneath a semitrailer, causing a crash that killed him, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Tesla sport utility vehicle driver reportedly using Autopilot mode was similarly killed in California in 2018 when the car collided with a freeway barrier near Redwood City.
Tesla vehicles using Autopilot have also reportedly collided with parked police cars and fire trucks in recent years.
How a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney Can Help You
Although Autopilot is a relatively new technology, reports of possible car defects leading to fatal accidents are as old as Henry Ford’s assembly line. The truth is car manufacturers put millions of vehicles on the road with latent defects that put everyone at risk.
Fortunately, California car owners have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. The law requires carmakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty and to buy back or replace cars that the company cannot or will not fix.
If you are a car owner or lessor who has been stuck with a lemon, an experienced Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
Our firm has represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in L.A. and across the state. We help the people we represent fight back by holding shoddy car manufacturers legally liable.
Our offices are conveniently located in L.A., San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a Los Angeles lemon law attorney today.