Tesla faces a lawsuit over the death of an engineer because of a failure on autopilot


The family of a man who was burned to death in a car crash aboard his Tesla on US Route 101 in California is suing the maker of electric vehicles, claiming the death by negligence and negligence derived from faults in the autopilot assistance system.

Walter Huang, a 38-year-old Apple engineer, was driving his Tesla Model X SUV in Mountain View, Calif., When the autopilot system accelerated at 120 mph and collided with a safety barrier. killing Huang and leaving behind a pile of charred remains.

The family claimed that the autopilot was missing. Tesla has been enhancing the sophistication of the driver assistance system and promising better "self-management" capabilities in its vehicles by the end of the year. However, some critics say that Autopilot software gives drivers a false sense of security.

"Mrs. Huang lost her husband and two children were orphaned because Tesla continues to test their autopilot on humans," said Mark Fong, a partner at Minami Tamaki LLP, one of the companies representing the family. "The Huang family wants to help prevent this tragedy from happening to other drivers who use Tesla vehicles or any other semi-autonomous vehicle."

Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system with some features to keep the car at a certain speed, keep a safe distance in traffic, and follow the road directions. But the family claimed that Autopilot technology inflated false hopes in Huang.

The case, which is one of several tests that Tesla has faced in relation to its autopilot system in recent years, could have wider consequences for the company, which at the same time tries to persuade more consumers to buy their products. vehicles. The alleged problems with autopilot can also create greater regulatory obstacles for the company trying to implement fleet of automatic taxis, something that CEO Elon Musk plans to introduce in the next few years.

Lawyers said they will continue to press for information about all accidents and injuries related to the autopilot function in order to gather more information for the process.

At a press conference, Fong, accompanied by Huang's widow, Sevonne Huang, said the engineer bought his Tesla vehicle as a gift after having saved enough. But shortly after his purchase, he complained to the family about the alleged failures of autopilot, Fong said. He also took the car to a dealership, which said that there was no problem and that he could continue driving, Fong added.

Tesla said he searched his service records and could not find a complaint from Huang about the autopilot's performance. Instead, the company said that the only complaint was about a navigation issue, which is not related to autopilot performance.

Huang "he believed that the Tesla Model X 2017 vehicle was safer than a human-operated vehicle"The suit accuses Tesla of designing a defective product, intentional misrepresentation, negligence and misleading advertising, among other charges.

"Huang's Tesla navigation system misinterpreted the lane lines on the road and accelerated the vehicle instead of stopping it," the lawyers said on Wednesday.

"This system is not safe, it's not something that should be released to the public and it certainly should not be advertised as an autopilot system," Fong added during the teleconference with reporters.

The lawsuit said that although Tesla had announced that the X model was "cutting edge", Huang did not have an automatic emergency braking system that would prevent collision with the road barrier, despite the technology already being implemented in other companies such as Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Subaru.

The family argues that Tesla and Caltrans are responsible for Huang's death and are seeking medical, hospital, funeral and funeral expenses and other compensation in the Superior Court of California.


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