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NHTSA Investigating Fatal Tesla Crash In Florida

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A fatal Tesla crash that happened in Florida on May 8 is getting scrutiny from the media. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into the events that transpired before the fatal crash to determine what caused the unusual fire from the vehicle’s battery pack.

Two 18-year-old males were killed in the fiery crash in Ft. Lauderdale. The accident occurred when a Tesla Model S, allegedly speeding, hit a concrete wall. Before the vehicle came to a stop, it started burning from the car’s battery pack. The red-orange flames engulfed the vehicle.

The fire burned rapidly, preventing emergency crews from rescuing the men, who were trapped inside. It is not believed that Tesla’s Autopilot feature was activated at the time of the crash. This feature allows the vehicle to operate in semi-autonomous mode.

The fire that occurred in this crash is quite unusual, which worries Tesla and the NHTSA. The vehicle’s large lithium-ion battery pack is designed to prevent the very type of fire that occurred in this case. However, if the battery pack is badly damaged in an accident, it does have the capability of burning at extremely hot temperatures, making it difficult to extinguish.

A different accident in California shows how volatile the Tesla battery pack can be. After a Tesla accident in March, the battery pack reignited several times after the crash—even two weeks later. Tesla finally had to de-energize the battery to keep it from exploding. The Tesla Autopilot feature was in use when that crash occurred.

Vehicle Defects and Recalls

Auto manufacturers have a duty to build vehicles that are safe. Every vehicle must meet minimum performance standards to prove that they can operate safely on roadways. However, sometimes defects occur. When a defect occurs that affects the safety of the vehicle, the manufacturer will often be forced to recall the vehicle.

Cars are comprised of thousands of parts, and any of them can fail, causing a serious accident. Some safety-related defects include broken steering components, damaged fuel system components, an accelerator that tends to stick, cracked wheels, faulty wiring and airbags that deploy at random times.

Sometimes defects occur that do not affect vehicle safety or warrant a recall. Examples of these include inoperable radios or air conditioners, rust, cosmetic blemishes and excessive oil consumption.

Get Help for Your Car Accident

If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a car accident, it’s possible that the manufacturer could be to blame. Thousands of vehicles are recalled every year due to mechanical issues and defects that can affect the vehicles’ ability to operate safely. If this is the case in your accident, you could receive compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Let the Dade City car accident attorneys at Mander Law Group help you with your claim. We will fight for your rights to compensation, even against the auto manufacturer who may be at fault . Contact us at (800) 557-0411 for a consultation.

Resources:

foxnews.com/auto/2018/05/11/fatal-florida-tesla-crash-being-investigated-by-nhtsa.html

odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm

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