Tesla Motorcycle Crashes Targeted in New Federal Probe
Federal regulators are turning up the heat on Tesla as investigators continue to look at accidents involving the company’s controversial Autopilot mode.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent investigation teams to two crashes last month in which Teslas collided with motorcycles, according to the Detroit News. One accident occurred on State Route 91 in Riverside, California, while the other was on Interstate 15 near Draper, Utah.
The agency reportedly believes that the Autopilot system was in use during both collisions, which happened on highways after dark.
The Autopilot system is intended to allow cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically–without a human driver controlling the vehicle–while staying in their lane. A string of crashes, however, has raised questions about the tech and whether it is safe to use.
An ongoing NHTSA investigation already reportedly spans 830,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot. Investigators have already looked at 200 crashes and in June turned their attention to 16 collisions involving Teslas and stopped emergency vehicles, according to CNN.
The new California crash involved a white Tesla Model Y sport utility vehicle that collided with a Yamaha V-Star motorcycle. The motorcycle rider was ejected from his bike and pronounced dead on the scene, according to the Detroit News.
The Utah accident involved a Tesla Model 3 sedan and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Harley rider was also killed in the accident.
The Tesla cars were traveling behind the motorcycles in both crashes. That has led to speculation that the Autopilot system did not recognize the motorcycles, the Detroit News reports.
“The driver of the Tesla did not see the motorcyclist and collided with the back of the motorcycle, which threw the rider from the bike,” the Utah Department of Public Safety said of the second collision.
California Tesla Owners’ Legal Rights
There is some good news for Tesla owners in the Golden State. The California lemon law empowers you to get defective and malfunctioning vehicles fixed without waiting around for a federal probe or for the company to voluntarily recall cars.
The lemon law requires carmakers to perform a full range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also obligates auto manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some situations) cars that they are not able or flat-out refuse to fix. That includes compensating the owner for the purchase price, as well as other related fees and costs.
The law additionally forces car manufacturers to pick up the tab for certain legal fees that owners incur while enforcing their lemon law rights.
Speak with a Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you are locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over a malfunctioning or defective vehicle, an Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
We have successfully assisted car owners across the state. 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 lawyer at our firm today.