Tesla faces first lawsuit over autopilot-related death

  • 16/09/2016

A Chinese man is suing Tesla after his son was killed while driving one of the company's new autopilot vehicles.

Gao Jubin's 23-year-old son, Gao Yaning, died in January after crashing into the back of a road-sweeping vehicle while driving on a highway in the northeastern province of Hebei.

The family believes the car - a Tesla Model S sedan - was switched to the autopilot mode.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind involving the autopilot's role in a crash.

Tesla said in a statement it was investigating the cause of the crash, but has "no way of knowing" if its semi-automated autopilot system was engaged at the time of the accident.

"Because of the damage caused by the collision, the car was physically incapable of transmitting log data to our servers," Tesla said.

Mr Gao's lawyer said Tesla had been in contact after they filed the lawsuit in a Beijing court in July, but they had yet to reach agreement with the company.

Tesla, in its statement, said it had "tried repeatedly to work with" Mr Gao's family to determine the cause of the crash, but the family "has not provided us with any additional information that would allow us to do so."

Reuters / Newshub.