Florida family sues Tesla over 2018 fatal crash

The family of a teenager killed last year in a Tesla crash in Florida has sued the electric carmaker alleging that the company doesn’t do enough to ensure the safety of its vehicles.

Edgar Monserratt and Esperanza Martinez filed the suit against Tesla, and Tesla employee James Constantino, in Broward County, Fla., late Tuesday. The couple’s son, 18-year-old Edgar Monserratt-Martinez, died in May when the Tesla Model S he was a passenger in crashed in Fort Lauderdale. According to federal investigators, the driver of the car, 18-year-old Barrett Riley, lost control of the vehicle as he was driving 116 mph in 30 mph speed limit zone. Riley also died in the accident.

The lawsuit says that Constantino, a Tesla service technician, removed a speed limiter from the vehicle without permission when the car had been brought in for service between March 29 and April 3, 2018, and that no one from Tesla notified the vehicle’s owners, Riley’s parents, about the limiter’s removal before the fatal accident occurred May 8.

According to the suit, the speed limiter was designed to keep the Tesla from going faster than 85 mph, and that had it been installed, it would have prevented the 2014 Tesla Model S from reaching a speed that eventually resulted in the crash that killed Monserratt-Martinez and Riley.

Monserratt and Martinez are seeking unspecified damages from Tesla.

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In a statement, a Tesla spokesperson said the company’s thoughts “continue to be with the families affected by this tragedy. (But) unfortunately, no car could have withstood a high-speed crash of this kind.”

The Tesla spokesperson also said that last year it introduced its Tesla’s Speed Limit Mode, which allows a Tesla owner to set speed and acceleration limits for their vehicle. That update came out after the accident that killed Montserratt-Martinez and Riley.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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