Even skeptics are coming around to the idea that electric cars are the wave of the future, and Tesla is an industry leader. The company has achieved progress in convincing consumers that, in addition to being better for the environment, electric cars are at least as safe as cars powered by petroleum engines. Fears over electrocution by the car’s batteries and of being stranded on the road during a widespread power outage or when there is no time to charge your battery to drive a safe distance away from danger, such as during a hurricane evacuation, have proven largely unfounded. A recent accident in South Florida could leave Tesla with an image problem, but the cause was something that could happen to any car, not just an electric one. Tesla is facing a product liability lawsuit as a result of the accident.
Omar Awan and the Electric Car Door Malfunction
Omar Awan was a 41-year-old anesthesiologist living in Broward County with his wife Liliana and their five children, who range in age from six to 17. On February 24, 2019, Awan was driving his Tesla Model S on Flamingo Road in Davie. The speed limit where he was driving is 50, but forensic investigators estimate that he was going about 75 mph. When trying to change lanes, he lost control of the car and veered across three lanes of traffic, crashing into a group of palm trees in the median. He survived the crash and attempted to get out of the car, but a design function on the doors made it impossible to open them. The car burst into flames, and Awan, trapped inside, apparently died of smoke inhalation.
Awan’s family filed a lawsuit against Tesla, saying that the design of the doors made the car a “death trap.” The door handles were too difficult to reach in the event of an accident, and it was impossible to open the doors by any other means. According to this lawsuit and others filed by families of Tesla drivers killed in fiery crashes, the design of the door handles is not the only thing that makes the cars unsafe. The lithium-ion batteries with Tesla, like most electric cars, uses, can overheat easily and cause fires and explosions. Meanwhile, Tesla’s defenders are unmoved by the warnings and lawsuits related to the dangers of electric cars. Larry Chanin of the Tesla Enthusiasts of Florida noted that in most of the fatal Tesla accidents reported so far, the drivers were traveling much faster than the speed limit; he implied that maintaining a safe speed would be enough to prevent fiery crashes like the one that killed Awan.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have been seriously injured in a preventable accident resulting from a design flaw in a car, you might have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car or its malfunctioning part. Contact Palm Beach County products liability attorneys at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers for a consultation.