What You Need to Know About the Tesla Autopilot Accidents
Tesla promises car buyers a unique experience: a luxury electric vehicle with the latest tech designed to let the car do much of the heavy lifting when you hit the road. The problem is that Tesla’s Autopilot system may not be up to the task of keeping drivers and passengers safe.
Federal regulators are investigating 12 accidents in which Teslas crashed into parked emergency vehicles, looking at how much the Autopilot driver-assist system was involved. The probe comes as other accidents in California, Texas and Florida have reportedly been linked to the driver-assist technology and motorists possibly taking their eyes off the road.
The situation is a good reminder that it is critical for car buyers to do their due diligence before making a decision. It is also important to understand your rights and options in case the vehicle turns out to have serious defects.
Why are the Feds Looking at Tesla Crashes?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the investigation following a string of crashes in which Tesla vehicles collided with parked emergency services vehicles while engaged in Autopilot.
The autopilot function is designed to allow cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically while staying in their lane. But the collisions raise questions about whether the tech can adequately spot and adapt to emergencies and other vehicles stopped in places where they generally are not supposed to be.
“If NHTSA determines in its investigation that Tesla's Autopilot system is unsafe, it could compel the company to recall cars or repair them to correct any safety defects,” Car and Driver report. “NHTSA has estimated that any such fix could impact up to 765,000 Teslas built between 2014 and 2021.
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.
Accidents reportedly involving Autopilot have already happened in California. A Tesla Model S was reportedly engaged in autopilot when the car slammed into a fire truck in Culver City in 2019. A Tesla sport utility vehicle driver in California was killed in 2018 when the car collided with a freeway barrier near Redwood City.
How a California Lemon Law Attorney Can Help
If you have been stuck with a malfunctioning vehicle, whether it is a Tesla whose Autopilot controls do not properly work or another vehicle with a wide range of other defects, an experienced Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
The California lemon law gives car owners the right to demand that the manufacturers make repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. A lawyer at our firm will explain your rights and help you explore your options for making sure that the manufacturer is held fully accountable.