Judge Claims Musk, Tesla Knew About ‘Deadly Autopilot Malfunction’

B| 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: CEO of Tesla and Space X Elon Musk attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) F| Tesla Reports Quarterly Earnings
CORTE MADERA, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: The Tesla logo is displayed on a Tesla car on April 26, 2021 in Corte Madera, California. Tesla will report first quarter earnings today after the closing bell. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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OAN’s Abril Elfi 
12:57 PM – Wednesday, November 22, 2023

A Florida judge has claimed that Elon Musk and his company Tesla was aware that their self-driving tech was defective in some cases.


Circuit Court Judge Reid Scott approved a lawsuit against Tesla, accusing the company of willful misconduct and egregious negligence in relation to a deadly collision that occurred which involved the Autopilot Driver Assistance System.

The Florida lawsuit stemmed from a 2019 collision that happened north of Miami, wherein the Tesla’s owner, Stephen Banner, was killed when his Model 3 Tesla crashed beneath the trailer of an 18-wheeler big rig truck that had turned onto the road.

Banner’s roof was sheared off. 

Judge Scott claims to have discovered evidence showing that Musk’s public comments regarding the technology “had a significant effect on the belief about the capabilities of the products” and that Tesla “engaged in a marketing strategy that painted the products as autonomous,” according to court documents.

The judge also mentioned that Banner’s wife, the plaintiff, could make the argument that Tesla should have warned customers more clearly in its manuals and “clickwrap” agreement.

Scott later referenced a video from 2016 that showed a Tesla using Autopilot to drive without human intervention. A disclaimer at the start of the video explains that the person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. “The car is driving itself,” the video said. 

Scott argued that the video shows a situation “not dissimilar” to what happened to Banner.

“Absent from this video is any indication that the video is aspirational or that this technology doesn’t currently exist in the market,” he wrote.

An October trial was postponed and has not been rescheduled yet as of November 22nd, 2023 at 12:54 p.m.

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