Tesla accused in driver suit of overstating Autopilot safety
Tesla Inc. was accused in a lawsuit of misleading consumers into believing that the Autopilot system on its vehicles can safely transport passengers at highway speeds.
A Model S driver who was injured in a crash claims in a lawsuit in Florida that the system poses “an inordinately high risk of high-speed collisions.”
The lawsuit puts Tesla’s driver-assistance system back in the headlines for legal reasons, rather than for a development that Elon Musk prefers: a major Autopilot software update.
The company announced last week what it called “our most advanced Autopilot feature ever,” dubbed Navigate on Autopilot, that guides Tesla cars from highway on-ramps to off-ramps.
Scrutiny of Teslas Autopilot was at a fever pitch earlier this year when multiple crashes involving the system drew probes by U.S. safety agencies, including a Model X driver who died in March after colliding with a highway barrier
Tesla said in an emailed statement that it has no reason to believe Autopilot malfunctioned or operated other than as designed, and that it provides clear instructions regarding the capabilities of the system.
The negligence and breach-of-duty suit, filed in state court in Orange County, Fla., seeks unspecified monetary damages on behalf of Shawn Hudson.
Autopilot “is unable to reliably detect stationary objects such as disabled vehicles or other foreseeable roadway hazards, posing an inordinately high risk of high-speed collisions, severe injury, and death, both to Tesla’s passengers and to the driving public,” Hudson said in the complaint.