Barely 14 months after a 2018 Model x crashed while its Autopilot mode was engaged, Tesla will now be engaged in a new lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased
An Apple engineer, Walter Huang aka Wei Lun Huang was found dead in an Auto crash sometimes around March last year, and while the event was faulted to Tesla, the automaker may have to fight its way out of a new lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased.
The earlier report shared about the deadly accident informed that the deceased had activated the autopilot mode prior to the crash. The Tesla Model X later hit a median on Highway 101 in Mountain View, despite engaging the autopilot mode. Now after 13 months and a few weeks, the family of the deceased have thought it through to file a lawsuit against the company and the state of California.
BREAKING NEWS: Tesla hit with lawsuit by family of Walter Huang, Apple Engineer who died last year when autopilot in Model X steered him into a traffic barrier Southbound 101 in Mountain View. #ABC7now pic.twitter.com/1cEql1vllc
— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) May 1, 2019
According to a report from the region via Dan Noyes Tweet, the lawsuit claims Huang’s Model X was “defective” in its design and blames the state for not making safety repairs on a safety barrier within the required amount of time. This means that the problem is from both Tesla who sold a faulted design as well as the State for the lack of professionality in creating a safety barrier along the road as required.
After the tragedy last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk published a blog post about the crash and revealed that “The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision.” He also claimed Autopilot “unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists,” and said the company was working with investigators to understand what happened. Huang’s family members told reporters that he’d mention how his vehicle would swerve toward the barrier while on Autopilot, and last year his brother said Huang complained to the Tesla dealership about it.
When the Model X hit the barrier, the crash was particularly severe because a “crash attenuator” that would normally be there to reduce the force of the impact was missing due to a prior accident. All of this information has been noted in a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the crash, however, it hasn’t been updated since last year. The report also notes that the car accelerated in the seconds prior to the crash, hitting the unprotected barrier at 70 MPH, breaching its battery and catching on fire.
Tesla on the other end after the crash had updated its software reminding drivers to touch the wheel more often and, ideally, remain attentive even with Autopilot enabled. Even though it has continued to develop the Autopilot tech, it is important for Drivers to know that the Autopilot is best used only during an emergency to avoid the unwanted event.