Concerns with Tesla are resurfacing as more victims come forward about accidents involving autopilot across several states in the U.S. Now, federal and state agencies are investigating 2014-2021 Tesla models Y, X, S, and 3.Earlier this year, a Tesla driver was involved in a severe accident on a California highway. Steven Michael died in Fontana, just 50 miles outside of Los Angeles, when his Tesla Model 3 collided with an overturned semi.
According to NBC News, he posted social media videos behind the wheel in awe of its capability to operate without using his hands on the wheel or foot below.
Michael was the 29th case involving Tesla that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had reported. The federal agency determined that the automated driving system was on before the accident but has yet to confirm its contributing factor.
NBC News reported many other drivers have died behind the wheel of a Tesla since 2016.
- In two separate crashes, Florida residents died when autopilot caused the car to underride crossing tractor-trailers
- In Mountain View, California, an Apple engineer died when his Tesla crashed into a highway barrier
Since then, the National Transportation Safety Board has encouraged Tesla to improve its system. That way, drivers were required to pay more attention to the road with limited access to autopilot. They did not act on it or enforce it.
NHTSA has only provided recommendations and suggestions for companies to regulate driver-assist systems.
At Gutierrez Law, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer advises all drivers to limit their use of hands-free driving on busy highways or roads to limit liability. So far, there have been 11 accidents resulting in over 17 injuries.
Tesla has disclaimer warning drivers to be mindful of autopilot. However, we can help you pursue a product liability claim against the company and a personal injury claim against any negligent drivers who are now aware of the national response and risks of using it.
U.S. Department of Transportation Chairman Robert Sumwalt shared this statement with NBC News. “Because NHTSA has put in place no requirements, manufacturers can operate and test vehicles virtually anywhere, even if the location exceeds the AV (autonomous vehicle) control system’s limitations.”
He hopes everyone limits use and learns of the risk. Tesla has yet to issue a public statement about the investigation.
Contact the best car accident attorney today if you have questions or need legal advice regarding product liability or personal injury.