Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?
Who wants to take responsibility for their own mistakes, right?by Robert Moore, on
It’s no secret that Tesla has been the target of plenty of lawsuits over the last year or two. In fact, it seems that just about anyone who crashes their Model S or Model X wants to blame Tesla. Musk was smart, however, and has equipped each of Tesla’s vehicles with a data recorder, which has proven invaluable in protecting the company from people that seem to forget how to drive. Usually, it’s someone saying autopilot screwed up, but there are others that claim their vehicle accelerated all on its own. This guy from California, however, really takes the cake. Last year, this cat (Son Ji-chang) drove his car through his garage and firmly lodged it right into his living room. He immediately pointed the finger at Tesla and initiated yet another lawsuit – one that’s attempting to evolve into class-action status. He even used his wealth to launch a media campaign to slander Tesla a bit. His claim?
“The vehicle spontaneously began to accelerate at full power, jerking forward and crashing through the interior wall of the garage, destroying several wooden support beams in the wall and a steel sewer pipe, among other things, and coming to rest in (his) living room.”
Well, the suit also names several other complaints that have been reported to the NHTSA, a good number of which point to driver error. In other words, the driver hit the accelerator, and the car did what it was supposed to do; Go. And, in this specific case, a third-party even reviewed the logs from one of these alleged rogue cars and determined the same thing, so it’s not necessarily just Tesla trying to flip things around. Well, the people behind the most recent suit have changed their approach, and instead of saying Tesla is responsible for this unintended acceleration, they say that Tesla is responsible for not preventing this unintended acceleration. Basically, they say the car should know that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal and ignore that input…
Keep reading for the rest of the story
Other’s Should Pay For Your Mistakes
So, to put things simply, Son Ji-chang and a number of others, say that Tesla is responsible for these “sudden acceleration” accidents because it hasn’t built a failsafe car. Tesla vehicles should be able to understand what the driver’s intentions are and prevent them from making mistakes – or in Son Ji-chang’s case – stop them from creating a homemade drive-in. The sudden acceleration suit against Toyota was legitimate, to a certain degree, as the floor mats of certain vehicles were found to hang up on the accelerator. But, in this situation, the suit is claiming that Tesla is under obligation to build a “failsafe car.” Tesla disagrees:
“According to Plaintiffs, the purported defect is that Tesla’s vehicles are allegedly prone to sudden, unintended acceleration. Plaintiffs allege that the sudden acceleration may be caused by defects in various vehicle systems or by driver negligence, but that, in any event, Tesla should have designed a failsafe system to prevent it. Tesla contends that each sudden acceleration incident alleged in the FAC (First Amended Complaint) was the result of driver error, denies that its cars are defective in any way, and disputes that there is a legal duty to design a failsafe car.”
Is this really what the world is coming to? We pass off blame for our own wrongdoings just to save a buck? Come on, people. If you accidentally floor the accelerator and smash into some shit, that’s your fault. You can’t just push blame on the company that made the car because you don’t want to pay for your mistake. This specific suit will next continue come May 1st in Santa Ana federal court. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Maybe the court will rule against Son Ji-chang, and he’ll suit the court for hurting his feelings.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3 here.