Utah Driver Who Crashed into Fire truck While Using Autopilot Sues Tesla
SALT LAKE CITY, UT. – September 5, 2018 (wsbradio.com) The driver involved in a crash with a fire truck in Utah is reportedly suing Tesla regarding its Autopilot feature. The story is reported online at wsbradio.com.*
The collision occurred May 11 in South Jordan, Utah, and involved 29-year-old Heather Lommatzsch. Lommatzsch was driving in Autopilot mode in her Tesla Model S on South Bangerter Highway in South Jordan when she slammed into the back of a fire truck stopped at a red light. Lommatzsch admitted she was using her cell phone at the time of the crash, and preliminary investigation from Tesla shows her hands had been off of the steering wheel for 80 seconds prior to the crash.
Investigation revealed the Tesla vehicle accelerated in the seconds leading up to the crash. Lommatzsch had the vehicle’s speed set at 60 mph, and data obtained from the vehicle shows she took her hands off of the wheel more than 12 times during the driving cycle. Before the crash, the Tesla was apparently following behind another vehicle and had slowed its speed to 55 mph. The car in front of it changed lanes, so the Tesla began to accelerate to return to its set 60 mph. The vehicle then did not perceive a fire truck stopped in front of it and crashed into the back of the truck at full speed. Lommatzsch broke her foot and was charged with a misdemeanor.
Lommatzsch is now suing Tesla for $300,000 in damages, alleging that her vehicle should have prevented the accident, and its Autopilot did not perform as promised when she bought the vehicle. Tesla responded saying that the company “has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.” A spokesperson for Tesla pointed to the information gathered by investigators in the case and went on to say, “When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times.”
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