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Tesla, CA DMV hit with lawsuit over fatal Autopilot crash

by Justin King

The accident involved a Model X that swerved into a damaged highway barrier.

The family of a Tesla Model X driver killed in a 2018 accident has filed a lawsuit against the automaker and California's Department of Motor Vehicles.

Walter Huang was driving the Model X on a California highway with Autopilot engaged when the car apparently misinterpreted the lane markings and maneuvered into a concrete barrier. Huang was killed in the accident, which involved a battery fire.

"At all relevant times herein, Defendants were negligent and careless in their design, manufacture, testing, marketing, sale, and maintenance of the 2017 Tesla Model X, and Defendants were negligent and careless in failing and omitting to provide adequate instructions and warnings to protect against injuries occurring as a result of vehicle malfunction and the absence of an effective automatic emergency braking system, as occurred here," the lawsuit argues, according to excerpts posted by CNET.

The crash attenuator that could have lessened the severity of the crash had been damaged in a previous accident. The lawsuit also lists the DMV as a defendant, arguing that the state failed to repair the attenuator.

Following the crash and amid an NTSB investigation, Tesla defended the safety of its vehicles and pointed out that Huang ignored warnings to keep his hands on the wheel and remain in control of the vehicle while Autopilot was engaged.

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