Tesla vehicles may have state of the art electric batteries and a so-called “autopilot” system, but the cars may be responsible for several recent deaths. The problem is, according to authorities, that people may rely too much on the autopilot system, unaware that the vehicles are not, in fact, self-driving. Tesla warns drivers that they must always remain in physical control of the vehicle, but that warning may be lost when people expect a car that has emergency braking and software to prevent the vehicle from drifting into another lane. Another danger lurking in the vehicle may be the lithium-ion batteries and the futuristic doors, as CBS 12 reports.
Another lawsuit has been filed by the family of a man who was killed in a Tesla vehicle.
The family of 48-year-old Dr. Omar Awan, an anesthesiologist, has filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Broward County Court.
Awan was driving his Tesla Model S on February 24th when the vehicle veered off the road and hit a palm tree. A police officer who saw the crash immediately ran over to help.
However, the door handles of the Tesla were retracted and didn’t “auto present” when the officer approached. Tesla doors only open when a key fob is nearby.
Because the door handles did not work, the officer was unable to pull Awan from the vehicle. Even as the vehicle caught fire and the fire began to spread, no one could budge the doors. The car continued to burn for hours, even after the initial fire had been put out and the car had been towed.
According to the lawsuit, Awan sustained no internal injuries or broken bones in the crash. Smoke inhalation was listed as the cause of death. Awan was reportedly burned beyond recognition.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages.