Last May, a deadly crash involving a Tesla occurred in Fort Lauderdale, FL. According to the Associated Press, an electric Model S collided with a wall and then burst into flames. Edgar Monserratt Martinez and the driver, Barett Riley, were both killed in the accident. Another young man was thrown from the car and survived.
Parents claim the battery was defective
Martinez's parents, Edgar Monserratt and Esperanza Martinez de Monserratt, allege the Tesla battery pack was faulty, and that is why the car caught fire. They also claim the battery was not protected properly, so that made it defective. The parents have filed a lawsuit against Tesla.
Speed control device was removed
Their lawsuit also states Riley's parents had a speed control device installed on the car by Tesla. The device was removed when the vehicle was serviced, and his parents were not notified.
The vehicle was going 116 mph
The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation determined the car was going 116 mph before it hit the wall. It slowed only to 86 mph when the airbags inflated. The car had been travelling around a curve, which it missed. The vehicle hit the wall twice and then caught fire.
Driver lost control
Witnesses stated the driver was passing another vehicle and lost control when trying to get into the right lane. At the curve in the road, a sign is posted listing the speed limit as 25 mph with a flashing light.
Tesla claims the battery has no problems, but blames high speed for the outcome.
Car burst into flames twice more
The lithium ion battery reignited twice after the flames were put out. These batteries are known to catch fire and burn quickly. The electric car company claims their batteries catch fire less than batteries in other types of vehicles.
The Martinez family alleges Tesla in negligent and is seeking damages.
Defective products are negligent
In a product liability claim, you must prove you or a family member were harmed, the product was defective and that defect caused the harm. You must also show you or your family member was using the product as intended. The defect can be caused by a manufacturing error, a design flaw or a failure to warn about the danger.
Anyone harmed by a defective product can file a product liability case and hold the negligent party responsible.