Man Files Lawsuit Against Tesla Claiming His Model X Spontaneously Accelerated Into His Living Room

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Model X owner Ji Chang Son filed a lawsuit against Tesla on Friday, claiming his vehicle suddenly accelerated as he was parking it in his garage. Filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the suit “alleges product liability, negligence and breaches of warranty, and seeks unspecified damages,” according to Reuters.

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The lawsuit claimed that Son’s Model X—a car Elon Musk once described as “the safest SUV ever made”—“spontaneously began to accelerate at full power” as he pulled into his garage. The vehicle jerked forward, “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 Plaintiffs’ living room,” the suit said. Both the driver and the passenger were injured.

The lawsuit seeks class action status, meaning Son isn’t the only Model X owner who’s reported this problem. It cites seven other complaints from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s database that make similar allegations against the company. In September, transportation website Electrek reported on several claims of “sudden unintended acceleration” from Model X owners. Tesla claimed to have reviewed the logs from each accident and concluded that the driver was at fault.

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The electric carmaker is singing a similar tune about the lawsuit filed Friday. Tesla gave a statement to Reuters, saying that the company had “conducted a thorough investigation” of Son’s claims.

“The evidence, including data from the car, conclusively shows that the crash was the result of Mr. Son pressing the accelerator pedal all the way to 100 percent,” said Tesla’s statement.

[Reuters]

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

On the one hand, I don’t see how Tesla can so boldly rely on the car’s data that the accelerator was depressed to 100% when the accusation in the first place is that it was the car that caused the unprompted acceleration; If the driver’s claim is accurate, no shit it would show driver input where there was none. What would be useful to know is if the brake was being pressed simultaneously or at any coinciding point to support their claim.

On the other hand, drivers hitting the accelerator instead of the brake pedal is not an uncommon driver error, and all data aside, I am 100% confident and willing to believe this idiot floored the gas pedal by mistake, just like practically every other claim of “spontaneous acceleration” ever brought against a car company.