Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
December 19, 2023

Will Tesla Autopilot recall bolster claims that Autopilot is defective? John Uustal provides expert opinion in Bloomberg article

A recent Bloomberg article reported that Tesla is facing its largest vehicle recall ever, which may have implications for high-profile lawsuits related to Autopilot-related crashes. 

The recall of 2 million cars was initiated after a US auto-safety regulator determined that Tesla’s driver-assistance program failed to ensure driver attentiveness. Lawyers representing crash victims argue that this finding strengthens their claims that the Autopilot system is defective and contributed to accidents. The increased threat of losses in Autopilot litigation could potentially lead to more challenges against Tesla in court, potentially resulting in substantial compensatory damages. 

Several lawsuits scheduled for trial in Florida, California, and Texas allege that Tesla allowed Autopilot to be used on roads it wasn’t designed for and failed to provide sufficient warnings when drivers became disengaged. Lawyers involved in these cases claim that these issues align with the concerns addressed in the recall. 

According to the article, Tesla plans to resolve the issue through an over-the-air software remedy that includes additional driver controls and alerts. The article states that information from the recall and Tesla’s actions to address the driver-engagement problem can be used as evidence in certain states. 

John Uustal was called on for his expert opinion on the matter. Uustal offered that plaintiffs can use facts of the recall and Tesla’s move to fix the driver-engagement issue as evidence in certain states, including California. “It can provide proof to help win the lawsuit, but it’s not the basis for the lawsuit,” Uustal said. 

Read the full article here:

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