On March 23, 2018, a driver of a Tesla Model X SUV vehicle was involved in a fatal car accident. The driver was 38-year-old Walter Huang who was an Apple engineer. Huang left behind a wife and two kids. The accident occurred in the afternoon on a stretch of highway in Mountain View, California where Huang crashed into a barrier and his vehicle caught fire. Huang was removed from the vehicle by rescuers and taken to a hospital where he later died from injuries he sustained in the crash.
Tesla stated that they do not yet know what happened in the moments leading up to the accident, and they do not know what caused the accident. Tesla hasn’t been able to collect the vehicle’s logs yet due to the extensive damage caused by the accident. Tesla also said that the reason this crash was so severe is because the highway safety barrier, which Huang crashed into, which was designed to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider, had either been removed or crushed in a prior accident without being replaced. Additionally, Tesla stated that its battery packs are designed so that in the rare circumstance a fire occurs, it spreads slowly so that occupants have plenty of time to get out of the vehicle. That seems to be what happened in this situation as there were no occupants still in the vehicle by the time the fire could have presented a risk.
Huang’s family said that Huang took his Tesla to the dealership complaining that on multiple occasions, the autopilot veered his vehicle toward a barrier, the same barrier that he crashed into Friday causing his death.
Investigators have said that it is unclear if the Model X autopilot system was engaged when the accident occurred. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the accident and how the vehicle caught fire after the crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto accident, the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.