A 38-year-old man recently passed away when the 2017 Tesla Model X he was driving allegedly steered itself into a median near Mountain View, which is about 20 minutes from San Mateo, on U.S. Highway 101. According to the man's wife, the vehicle's autopilot malfunctioned right before the March 23 crash, causing the vehicle to speed up and slam into the concrete barrier.
The family has filed a lawsuit against Tesla in Santa Clara County court. Caltrans is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suit states that Caltrans did not repair the median that was damaged. The family alleges that if the median had been repaired, then the impact of the car into the median would have been less.
The lawsuit states that the autopilot did not read the lane lines correctly, did not detect the median and actually sped up before crashing.
The family's attorney states that the man would be alive today if he had not had the autopilot on.
The lawsuit also states that Tesla was beta-testing the autopilot before it was ready to go live and that there was no automatic emergency braking system. Tesla has not commented on the lawsuit.
The amount of damages is not specified in the lawsuit, and the crash is under an independent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
If you have lost a loved one due to a defective product or part on a motor vehicle, you can seek damages for his or her medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium and more. An experienced attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.