- The family of an Apple engineer who died when his Tesla crashed last year is suing the automaker.
- The suit alleges that the car, which was on autopilot at the time of the crash, was “defective in its design.”
- It comes at a sensitive time for Telsa. CEO Elon Musk revealed his grand ambitions for Tesla’s self-driving tech last month.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The family of Apple engineer Walter Huang, who died in March last year when his Tesla Model X crashed on a California highway, is suing Tesla.
Huang’s Model X was in autopilot mode when it crashed into a barrier on the 101 Mountainview highway, causing the car’s battery to erupt into flames.
Read more: The family of a teenager killed in a 116 mph Tesla crash is suing the company, alleging it makes “unreasonably dangerous” cars
The National Transportation Safety Board reported later that the car had accelerated from 62mph to 70 mph four seconds before the crash.
NBC Bay Area and ABC7 News reported that the family filed the suit against both Tesla 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
ABC7’s Dan Noyes obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which alleges that the car was “defective in its design.” Huang’s wife Sevonne told Noyes he had complained multiple times that the car had veered towards that same barrier.
Tesla was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. Tesla published a blog post shortly after the crash saying that Huang had “received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive.”
The family’s suit also alleges that the barrier which Huang crashed into was unsafe, as the safety cushion or “crash attenuator” had been crushed into a previous accident, and had not been replaced. In its blog post last year, Tesla said the defective attenuator was the reason the crash was “so severe.”
This lawsuit comes at a sensitive time for Tesla as CEO Elon Musk has been vaunting the automaker’s autopilot features, promising a fully automated fleet of taxis by 2020.
SEE ALSO: Elon Musk’s prediction that it will have a robo-taxi service ready by the end of 2020 is a ‘publicity stunt,’ an expert says
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