Tesla Awarded $10.5 Million For High School Student Driving Model S That Killed Two And Injured One

A Florida jury on Tuesday, July 20, ruled that for the 2018 crash in which American high school students driving a Tesla Model S killed two people and injured one, the driver who died in the crash, Barrett Riley, was 90 percent responsible, his father was 9 percent responsible, his mother was not, and Tesla was liable for 1 percent of his negligence. But even with only 1% liability, Tesla is still liable for a huge $10.5 million (about $70.84 million) in damages.

Back in May 2018, Barrett Riley, an 18-year-old high school student from Florida, USA, and his friend Edgar Monserrate were driving a Tesla Model S when they crashed into a concrete wall at 116 mph (187 km/h), after which the vehicle quickly caught fire, a crash that killed two people in the car and injured one.

After the crash, Riley's parents took Tesla to court, claiming that Tesla had removed the vehicle's speed limiter without their consent. To ensure Riley's safety behind the wheel, the speed limiter was installed two months ago at the request of Riley's parents to limit the vehicle to 85 mph (137 km/h).

In addition, Riley's parents believe that the Tesla vehicle battery caught fire quickly after a collision and there is a product defect.

In response, Tesla had said that Riley personally went to a Tesla Model S service station and "tricked" a Tesla technician into lifting the speed limiter for him.

But apparently, the jury found that Tesla was negligent in removing the speed limiter without the parents' consent, and was responsible for 1% of the crash.

A month after the aforementioned crash, Tesla released a software update for a speed limiter feature that sets the vehicle's top speed between 50 mph and 90 mph (80 km/h to 145 km/h). The owner's manual indicates that the feature was an improvement in honor of Riley.

In addition to the aforementioned huge compensation, recently, according to the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, a court in Munich ruled on a Tesla Model X owner's lawsuit against Tesla, and the court ruled against Tesla and awarded the owner 112,000 euros (about 774,000 yuan) to reimburse the owner for most of the cost of purchasing the Model X because of the vehicle's Autopilot function There were problems with the vehicle's Autopilot function.

According to the above report, a technical report showed that Tesla Model X vehicles equipped with Autopilot were unable to reliably identify obstacles such as narrow road construction and sometimes activated the brakes unnecessarily.

In the first half of this year, although affected by the recurring epidemic, Tesla still delivered 564,000 new vehicles worldwide, an increase of 46% year-on-year, but Tesla still faced many problems in the German market this year.

Tesla Germany Berlin factory in the official production before the environmental problems faced a lot of difficulties. Since the Berlin plant went into operation earlier this year, Tesla still suffered a lot of "sound" in Germany.

In early July this year, due to the Tesla emergency system failure, the German automotive regulators asked Tesla to recall the Model Y and Model 3, the request is limited to the two cars in Germany, the world about 59,000 units affected.

Recently, Tesla was hit by another lawsuit in Germany, involving possible privacy issues with Tesla's car surveillance cameras and a dispute over whether buying a Tesla car helps reduce CO2 emissions.

But in the German market, Tesla still exists "the harder the scolding, the hotter the sale" phenomenon. In Germany, a powerhouse of the auto industry, Tesla sales often top the list of new energy vehicles. In June this year, the questionable Tesla Model Y also ranked second in the German pure electric car sales list, slightly behind the Fiat 500e.

As for why this phenomenon has occurred, Shen Meng, executive director of Chanson Capital, told China Business News that this is because the negative news about Tesla has not fundamentally affected consumer recognition of its products, and Tesla still maintains a high level of growth and innovation. On the other hand, Shen Meng believes that Tesla's quality problems are not unusually prominent in proportion to traditional fuel cars.

Auto analyst Ren Wanfu also pointed out to reporters that it is inevitable that Tesla faces some new problems while innovating. And many of the problems faced by Tesla is not an isolated case, but a universal problem in the new energy vehicle industry, only Tesla has taken a step forward. However, the matter of consumer personal safety, Tesla should be more cautious in the commercial application.

About Author
John Murphy

John Murphy is the founder of TOPCARS Tesla Aftermarket Accessories, as well as an investor in Tesla and owner of the Model Y. He posts about Tesla news while running the site on a daily basis.

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