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Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Wrongful Death > Family of 18-year-old Files Wrongful Death in Fatal Tesla Crash

Family of 18-year-old Files Wrongful Death in Fatal Tesla Crash


The family of an 18-year-old has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesla and a worker at a Tesla service center after the worker removed a failsafe in the car’s system that prevented it from going over 85 mph. The young man, who was a passenger in the vehicle driven by his friend, was killed in a crash where his friend was driving at 116 mph. The driver, who also died in the crash, was caught prior far exceeding the speed limit. His parents, in response, asked the techs to install a Tesla speed limit control device which would prevent the vehicle from traveling over 85 mph. According to the lawsuit, a Tesla tech removed the device when the car went to be serviced about a month before the crash.

While it’s clear that the driver, who was speeding, is responsible for the fact that he lost control of the car, there are two details here that need to be examined more closely. Firstly, the lawsuit claims that the tech is partly responsible for the crash because he removed the speed limiting device without informing the parents. Secondly, the suit names Tesla for defective design because the lithium-ion Battery in the Tesla car caught fire and may have ultimately resulted in the teens’ deaths.

Do Tesla Cars Explode?

The heart of this lawsuit is the allegation that Tesla cars are more prone to exploding than other types of vehicles. Specifically, the battery of the Tesla Model S electric vehicle allegedly can explode under certain circumstances. This is not the first reported case of the lithium-ion battery catching fire. Indeed, it appears to take far less of a violent collision for the lithium-ion to potentially explode.

Indeed, questions were raised about the viability of the lithium-ion battery when Samsung phones began catching fire in people’s pockets. While Tesla became aware of the problem and has taken measures to avoid future explosions, there is a question as to whether or not they have gone far enough. If they have, this may signal the death knell of the lithium-ion battery.

In one case, a young woman was driving her boss’s Tesla Model S when she swerved to avoid a vehicle that was driving the wrong way. The car crashed into a tree and then a parking garage where it immediately exploded. The woman, however, was driving with a BAC of .24, triple the legal limit.

Thus far, Tesla has been lucky. These deaths involved reckless drivers. Still, the question remains: Would these reckless drivers still be alive if their car battery had not exploded. In the case of the young woman who was driving drunk, her passenger died as a direct result of the ensuing explosions and fire. Anything that punctures the battery can potentially cause an explosion.

Talk to a Jacksonville Wrongful Death Attorney

The attorneys at Gillette Law help grieving families hold negligent parties responsible for their loss. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up a free consultation.






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