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- The family of a Tesla-owner who died in a car accident while he had Autopilot turned on is filing a lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful death.
- 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner died when his Tesla crashed into a tractor-trailer in March of this year.
- In a statement following the National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the crash, Tesla said Banner removed his hands from the steering wheel.
- The family of Apple engineer Walter Huang, who died when his Tesla crashed into a highway barrier while on Autopilot in March 2018, is also suing the company.
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Tesla’s been hit with another lawsuit from the family of a man who died when his Tesla crashed while in Autopilot mode.
The family of Jeremy Beren Banner announced through their lawyer Trey Lytal on Thursday that they are suing the company for wrongful death.
Banner was 50 years old when his Tesla Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer on March 1 at 68 miles per hour. The car travelled 1,690 feet after the collision, and its roof was torn off.
In its report about the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Banner had engaged Autopilot roughly 10 seconds before the collision, and when he crashed "the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel."
Following the NTSB’s findings, Tesla said that after activating Autopilot, Banner "immediately removed his hands from the wheel," which goes against the instructions it gives drivers.
When questioned about whether Banner had his hands on the wheel at the time of the accident, Lytal said Tesla owners often receive alerts from their car to put their hands on the wheel when they already have their hands on the wheel.
"Just because their sensors didn’t sense that Mr Banner’s hands weren’t on the wheel doesn’t mean they were not on the wheel," he said. Lytal also said that Tesla’s sales language around Autopilot promises "full self-driving capable car."
"We are so far from that technology. I get it, his [Elon Musk’s] company is under stress to sell and profit… but we cannot have technology and sales take over safety," Lytal explained.
He added that Tesla possesses video footage from the inside of the car at the time of the accident, which the family will gain access to during the lawsuit.
Banner’s family isn’t the first to sue Tesla over a fatal Autopilot accident. The family of Apple engineer Walter Huang, who died when his Tesla crashed into a highway barrier while on Autopilot in March 2018, launched a suit against the company in May, alleging the car was "defective in its design."
Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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