Family Of Man Killed In Tesla Model X Autopilot Crash Lawyers Up

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On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board revoked Tesla's status as a party in its investigation because the company violated an agreement prohibiting the release of investigative information to the public before the completion of a final report on the crash. Fiery Tesla crash kills driver in Mountain View Despite his long hours at EA Games and then Apple starting last November, 38-year-old Walter Huang found time for his family. The agency's chairman, Robert Sumwalt, said in a statement that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was informed of the decision by phone and letter. Tesla issued its own statement Wednesday night.

The coverage from Reuters continues: "Tesla later said the auto had activated Autopilot, raising new questions about the semi-autonomous system that handles some driving tasks".

"Just because a driver does something stupid doesn't mean they - or others who are truly blameless - should be condemned to an otherwise preventable death", said Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina's School of Law, who studies driverless-car regulations. The NTSB said in a press release that it had revoked Tesla as a party to the investigation due to Tesla "releasing investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed by the NTSB". "The characterization of the call as relayed to Bloomberg is false", a Tesla spokesman said in an emailed statement. "We chose to revoke Tesla's party status and informed Mr. Musk in a phone call last evening and via letter today". Tesla is extremely clear that Autopilot requires the driver to be alert and have hands on the wheel.

It is crucial that companies accurately outline limitations of automatic driving systems and the circumstances in which they can and cannot take over steering, braking, and lane-keeping, attorneys for the U.S. units of carmakers including Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, and supplier company Continental said at a recent legal conference.

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Tesla's statements have highlighted the need for drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road at all times while Autopilot is engaged.

While Tesla said they are "incredibly sorry" for Sevonne's loss, they blamed the acciden ton her husband. That fire probe had not previously been reported. The company is still a party in two other ongoing investigations into crashes involving its vehicles in Lake Forest and Culver City, California. So it's easy to imagine the NTSB will come to a similar conclusion once it's done investigating Huang's death, painting Tesla's innovative system in a damning light. However, Tesla will "continue to provide technical assistance to the NTSB", the spokesperson added. The company also noted that the accident occurred at a confusing highway interchange, and the protective shield on the concrete barrier involved in the crash was not in proper condition.

But this time it is not so simple, since Tesla will likely evaluate suppliers with more care than usual, given the recent supply problems of parts that have caused delays in the production of the Model 3.

The Palo Alto, California, company said its vehicle logs showed Huang took no action to stop the Model X from crashing into a concrete lane divider. While it sounds like the family is gearing up to sue, Fong said he doesn't expect to file a lawsuit until after the National Transportation Safety Board is fully done with its investigation.