Five Texas Cops Sue Tesla For $20 Million Claiming They Were “Badly Injured” By Vehicle On Autopilot
Texas Police officers are apparently not amused with Elon Musk or Tesla’s Autopilot.
In fact, their ire is so sufficient that Tesla has now been named in a $20 million lawsuit over an accident that alleged injured five police officers in Texas.
The Buzbee Law Firm and Muery & Ferrell PC has alleged on behalf of the officers that Tesla hadn’t done enough to address flaws in its Autopilot system. The lawsuit claims that “the five officers were injured while they were performing a drug search on a vehicle they had stopped on the side of the Eastex Freeway and claims that all were badly injured,” according to Carscoops.
The lawsuit says: “Due to the design and manufacturing defects known to Tesla, Tesla’s failure to adequately warn of those defects, and Tesla’s unwillingness to admit or correct such defects, the Autopilot and Tesla’s system safety features failed to detect the officers’ cars or to function in any way to avoid or warn of the hazard and subsequent crash.”
Buzbee told a local news affiliate in Houston: “Upon research, what we have discovered is, this is happening all over the country. In fact, the government has just recently, talking about in the last 30-60 days, has requested of Tesla to turn over information regarding every crash that has occurred involving the Tesla on autopilot that also involves police officers.”
The firm continued: “You’ve probably seen that Elon Musk and Tesla have proudly touted Teslas on autopilot are safer than your everyday driver, that Tesla’s on autopilot there are fewer accidents than they are otherwise. But what we’ve learned is that this information is misleading.”
Recall, earlier in September, we noted that the NHTSA had broadened an ongoing investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot that was spurred by an abundance of crashes with emergency vehicles.
The agency was likely helped along by a crash in Orlando several weeks ago involving a Tesla that “narrowly” missed hitting a State Trooper. The Tesla driver had the Autopilot engaged during the accident, according to police.
The NHTSA recently said it had opened a formal investigation into the company’s Autopilot feature. It said it is opening a probe into Tesla’s Model X, S, and 3 for model years 2014-2021. The broad range of models and model years means that this could be the broad investigation that Tesla skeptics have been requesting for years.