Tesla sued over alleged suspension failure in fatal Florida crash

San Francisco, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has been sued for an alleged suspension failure in a crash that killed the driver and a passenger in Florida last year and sparked a federal investigation.

The 2021 Model 3 vehicle had a “faulty and unreasonably dangerous suspension that can cause loss of control under normal and foreseeable driving conditions,” according to the lawsuit filed by the driver’s family in Florida state court this week last. The case was first reported by legal news site Plainsite.

The lawsuit said that four days before the September accident, the driver, Nicholas G. Garcia, took the vehicle to a Tesla store because of “control/steering, suspension, battery and electronics, and an ability to open doors. .”

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The lawsuit accused a Tesla service manager of “negligently” inspecting the affected model.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, said in a preliminary report in November that the car accelerated before crashing into two trees and bursting into flames.

Garcia, 20, and front passenger Jazmin Alcala, 19, suffered injuries and “fatal traumatic burns,” according to a Coral Gables Police Department report.

The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $30,000 each from Tesla and the service manager.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

The underbody of the vehicle hit the road after going over a “bump” in the center of an intersection, according to the police report viewed by Reuters. The driver lost control and left the road before the collision.

In October, Tesla recalled nearly 3,000 2020-2021 Model Y and 2019-2021 Model 3 vehicles in the United States for a suspension issue. Tesla recalled 21,599 Chinese-made Model Ys in December, saying a suspension link could fall off the steering knuckle under extreme stress conditions.

In 2020, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated approximately 115,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for a front suspension safety issue.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and David Shepherdson; Editing by Richard Chang

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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