Spark Global Limited Reports:
A group of Texas law enforcement officials are suing Tesla after one of its Model X cars with autopilot struck five police officers. The lawsuit was first reported by KPRC 2 in Houston.
It is the latest legal headache for GM as it tries to roll out controversial driver assistance software to more customers. Tesla is facing new scrutiny over several accidents involving autopilot and emergency vehicles.
The accident happened on Feb. 27, 2021, in Splendora, a small town in Montgomery County in the eastern part of the state. According to the lawsuit, the Model X SUV struck several officers during a traffic stop on the Eastx Freeway in Texas. “All were seriously injured,” the lawsuit said.
The plaintiffs claim that “Tesla’s known design and manufacturing defects” and “Tesla’s unwillingness to acknowledge or correct such defects” caused the accident. They argued that the autopilot system “failed to detect the officer’s vehicle or to avoid or warn in any way of the danger and subsequent collision.”
The plaintiffs also noted that “this is not an isolated case” and cited “at least” 12 other accidents involving Tesla cars using Autopilot. By the way, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 12 incidents in which Tesla owners using the company’s autopilot feature hit stationary emergency vehicles, Seventeen people were injured and one died.
The lawsuit cites several tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk as evidence that Tesla knew about the defects but did not recall or correct them.
Police also sued the owner of a local restaurant, claiming the driver of the Model X had too much to drink before the crash. They are seeking compensation for injuries and permanent disability. The lawsuit lists damages of more than $1 million, with a maximum award of $20 million.
Tesla has been sued in the past for accidents involving autopilot. In 2019, Tesla was sued by the family of Jeremy Banner, a 50-year-old man who died in a crash while using Autopilot. Earlier that year, the company was sued by the family of Wei Huang, 38. In 2018, Huang wei was killed when his Model X crashed into an ramp divider while on autopilot.
Last week, Tesla gave more customers access to a beta version of its “Full Autopilot” (FSD) program through a “request” button on the dashboard screen. FSD, as a more advanced autopilot, allows drivers to use its features on local roads, such as steering control and adaptive cruise control.
Security officials have criticized the plan. Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said last week that Tesla should address “fundamental Safety issues” before expanding FSD, She called the company’s use of the term “fully autonomous” “misleading and irresponsible.”
Reprint indicated source：Spark Global Limited information