A tragic accident that occurred in 2020 has now led to a lawsuit against Tesla. Rebecca Taylor, along with her three children, is seeking over $1 million in damages, alleging that a Tesla Model S was operating on Autopilot when it crashed and caused severe injuries to her husband, Mark Taylor, injuries which ultimately led to his death 18 months later.
The lawsuit, filed in the Dallas County district court on July 19, points the finger at both Tesla and Gregory Shepard, the driver behind the wheel during the accident on June 19, 2020. According to the lawsuit, Taylor was taking out the trash in front of his home when he was struck by the Model S driven by Shepard. Taylor passed away on November 6, 2021, at the age of 47 due to the injuries sustained in the crash.
The core of the Taylors’ lawsuit lies in their belief that Shepard’s Tesla was using Autopilot at the time of the accident. They have no evidence to support this claim, but aim to substantiate their suspicions during the discovery process of the legal proceedings. The lawsuit does not provide specific details on what led the Taylors to believe that the vehicle was operating in Autopilot during the incident, according to The Dallas Morning News.
However, it appears as though their suspicions are based in part on statements made by CEO, Elon Musk, which are highlighted in the lawsuit. The Taylors assert those comments have misled drivers about the capabilities of Autopilot, and that Tesla’s repeated assertions regarding the vehicles’ ability to intervene and prevent crashes while in Autopilot create a false sense of security among drivers. They argue that Tesla’s claims imply a level of automation that does not currently exist in any vehicle on the road.
“TESLA has led drivers to believe its ‘Autopilot,’ ‘Full Self-Driving,’ and other automated features increase safety to the extent that the driver’s attention is less necessary. “TESLA’S repeated claims that its cars can drive themselves imply a level of automation that does not yet exist in any vehicle on the road today,” the lawsuit says.
Tesla has not yet issued a response to the lawsuit.