Tesla is being sued by the family of Wei "Walter" Huang, a software engineer who died when his Model X with autopilot crashed into a road safety barrier in March 2018.
complaint, the family claims that Huang's Model X lacked safety features, such as an automatic emergency braking system. Such features are available in much less expensive vehicles from other automakers, as well as in more recent X models, said Huang's family. The Model X comes with automatic emergency braking, according to the owner's manual.
According to Bloomberg :
The family also alleges that Tesla knew, or should have known, "that the Tesla Model" X is likely to cause injury to its occupants by leaving travel lanes and hitting fixed objects when used in a reasonably foreseeable manner. "The automaker should have issued a recall or given a warning" in light of the risk of harm, "the family said in the complaint.
Huang died because "Tesla is conducting a beta test of its autopilot software on live drivers," said B. Mark Fong, a family lawyer, in a statement to Bloomberg . "The Huang family wants to help to prevent this tragedy from happening to other drivers using Tesla vehicles or any other semi-autonomous vehicle. "
Huang was traveling south on US Highway 101, the safety barrier section of a divider that separates the lane d e shared trip from the exit ramp to the left. The front of his SUV was smashed, the vehicle caught fire and two other cars crashed into the rear. Huang was taken out of the vehicle by the rescuers and taken to Stanford Hospital, where he died from injuries sustained in the accident.
In June, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a preliminary report that attributed the accident to a navigational error. Autopilot. Tesla was removed from the NTSB investigation into a fatal auto-pilot accident in March, the agency announced today. The NTSB says it took the measures because Tesla had revealed "research information before it was examined and confirmed by" the agency.
Tesla introduced its Navigate on Autopilot function, which guides the vehicle from the entrance ramp to the exit ramp, in October 2018.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the claim, and instead pointed the previous statement of the company The fatal shock. In that statement, the company said that a damaged safety barrier, called a shock attenuator, contributed to its severity. Tesla also said that Huang had "about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed vision" of the concrete separator with the safety barrier crushed before his vehicle crashed into him.
The lawsuit comes a week after Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, organized a "Day of Autonomy" for investors to promote their company's plans to launch a fleet of autonomous robotaxis by 2020.