The family of a Florida man who died as a passenger in a Tesla Model S sedan is suing the company، claiming that the battery was defective and that the company was negligent by removing a speed limiter that the owner programmed into the vehicle، according to the Car News.
According to the lawsuit، which you can read in its entirety here، Edgar Monserratt’s 18-year-old son was a passenger in the Model S traveling at a high rate of speed (over 115 mph) when it hit a light pole. The car caught fire and Monserratt’s son died.
The wrinkle here is that the driver، Barrett Riley، was previously ticketed in the same Tesla on a Florida highway for doing 112 mph. After that، his parents installed the speed limiter to keep the car under 85 mph.
Later، the car went in for service and the limiter was removed by the technician، “without the permission or knowledge of Riley’s parents.”
Monserratt is arguing that Tesla was negligent in removing the limiter and that the car itself was unreasonably dangerous. "The Tesla S battery was prone to extremely intense fires incapable of being timely extinguished،" Philip Corboy Jr.، one of the family's lawyers، said in a statement، noting that there "have been at least a dozen worldwide reported cases." of Tesla S batteries catching fire during a crash.
A Tesla spokesperson sent a corporate statement to Ars Technica، where the original report appeared.
"Our thoughts continue to be with the families affected by this tragedy،" the company said. "Unfortunately، no car could have withstood a high-speed crash of this kind. Tesla's Speed Limit Mode، which allows Tesla owners to limit their car's speed and acceleration، was introduced as an over-the-air update last year in dedication to our customer's son، Barrett Riley، who tragically passed away in the accident."
Playing Monday Friday morningarmchair lawyer، it seems that the driver، with a history of recklessness، is most responsible here. We’ll follow up on this as it develops.