Tesla Responds To Lawsuit That Claims Design Defect Caused Unintended Acceleration

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 06, 2017 02:59 PM EDT

A lawsuit has been filed against Tesla, the maker of high-end fully electric cars, claiming its Model X and Model S vehicles are prone to unintended acceleration that can lead to accidents. However, Tesla argues that there is a legal duty to design a fail-safe car.

The proposed class action lawsuit was filed Mar. 31 in the federal court in Central California. It states that there has been a total of 26 incidents whereby the affected Tesla models suddenly accelerated at full speed while their drivers were driving or parking at slow speeds. 22 out of the 26 incidents resulted in a crash, according to Ars Technica.

The lawsuit points out that the incidents are a result of design defects, even if it was possibly caused by human error. It notes that Tesla holds a legal responsibility to create a "fail-safe" that would stop the acceleration, but despite receiving evidential reports on the unintended acceleration, Tesla has not shown much efforts to fix the problem, or even warn customers.

Tesla's motion of dispute was filed last Friday, and largely argued for the dismissal of some claims of the lawsuit, which includes claims that question specific state consumer protection laws, and warranty claims that the automaker previously mentioned are not covered by its warranty. Tesla continued to argue that automakers "have no duty to design a fail-safe into their vehicles", an action that "no manufacturer has ever done," according to Forbes.

"Tesla's lack of response to this phenomenon is even more confounding when the vehicle is already equipped with the hardware necessary for the vehicle's computer to be able to intercede to prevent unintended acceleration," the lawsuit notes. Meanwhile, a hearing is set for May 1 in federal court in Santa Ana, California.

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