Car buyers in Missouri who are concerned about the environment are often attracted to the electric vehicles produced by Tesla. The California-based company has built a reputation for performance and economy in just a few short years, and its cars and SUVs are known for featuring some of the most advanced self-driving systems available. However, two recent deadly crashes involving Teslas have raised questions about the reliability of their nascent autonomous technology.
The first accident to attract the attention of both the media and federal crash investigators took place in 2018. Two teenagers died when the Tesla Model S they were traveling in reached speeds of up to 116 mph before crashing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Tesla’s large lithium-ion batteries caught fire in the seconds following the accident and reignited on two further occasions, according to accident reports.
The latest fiery crash involving a Tesla occurred on Feb. 24 in Davie, Fla. According to police, a Tesla Model S crossed three lanes of traffic before leaving the roadway for unknown reasons. The man behind the wheel was killed, and the car’s batteries also caught fire at least three times. Some consumer advocates say that Tesla misleads its customers and encourages irresponsible behavior by calling its autonomous system Autopilot. Investigators have yet to determine whether or not the feature was in use when the two Teslas crashed.
Attorneys with defective products liability experience will likely be studying the investigations into these two crashes to find out if the batteries fitted to electric cars pose a threat. Consumers expect the products they buy to be safe to use, and manufacturers may face product liability lawsuits and be held financially responsible in court when they place profits over safety.