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A Traffic Death Raises More Legal Concerns About Tesla’s Autopilot Mode

Stolen car wrecked shortly after it was stolen.

On March 23rd, a Tesla Model X travelling down southbound 101 in Mountain View crashed into a concrete barrier. The impact set the car on fire, and the driver did not survive. Now, investigators are discovering more disturbing information about the crash and raising legal questions about Tesla’s Autopilot Mode.

Is Tesla’s Autopilot Mode Defective?

A game developer at EA Games had just scored an engineering job with Apple. To celebrate this new job and his birthday, the man went to a local Tesla dealership and bought a blue Model X. That present to himself would prove more dangerous that he anticipated.

Not long after purchasing the SUV, the man allegedly told his wife that he was having problems with the vehicle. At a certain point on Highway 101, the car would supposedly veer toward a concrete barrier when in autopilot mode. The man told his family and friends that he had taken the vehicle in to Tesla several times, but that the dealership could not get the vehicle to replicate the problem. So, the problem was apparently dismissed until March 23rd.

On that day, the blue SUV rammed the concrete barrier in question while in autopilot mode, taking the life of the Apple engineer. Investigators are still processing the data, but in a startling twist, the Tesla company has been excluded from the investigation. The automaker originally was cooperating with authorities, but it released all its collected data in a blog post. That post also blamed the crash on the Model X driver, and it also stated that the driver’s death was due to a piece of safety equipment that had not been replaced after another vehicle crashed into that same spot a few days earlier.

Investigators were not pleased with Tesla’s candor, and so the company has been excluded from the investigation. Members of the family are also displeased. They recently announced that they will be taking civil action against Tesla, since they believe the Autopilot Mode is defective. The family is also considering legal action against the California Transportation Department due to the missing crash attenuator guard, which may have saved this engineer’s life.

To learn more about your legal options when faced with a terrible tragedy, depend on the experienced injury attorneys at Mary Alexander and Associates, P.C.

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