According to Engadget, Walter Huang, also known as Wei Lun Huang, was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Mountain View, California in March 2018. Reports suggest Huang was driver his Tesla Model X SUV along Highway 101 when the vehicle collided with a median barrier before striking two other vehicles.
The crash destroyed the front half of the vehicle and caused a fire involving the vehicle’s battery. Witnesses at the scene reported seeing a fireball during the crash.
Following the collision, it was unclear if Huang had engaged the Tesla’s autopilot feature, or if he was operating the vehicle manually. Due to the circumstances of the collision, specifically the possibility of a battery fire, Tesla sent an employee to investigate.
Tesla later acknowledged that autopilot was engaged when the crash occurred.
Huang Had Reported Issues with Tesla Autopilot
Huang’s brother revealed that Huang had previously complained about his Tesla Model X swerving toward the highway barrier while in autopilot mode. Huang is also reported to have brought the issue to the attention of the Tesla dealership, but the dealership was unable to replicate the problem.
Still, Tesla insists the crash was entirely Huang’s fault, claiming that Huan received several “hands-on warnings” prior to the crash and that the only way the crash could have occurred is if Huang was not paying attention.
Huang’s family has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, alleging the Model X he was operating was defective in its design. Their lawsuit cites an investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board which found that the vehicle had actually sped up just before crashing into the median.
The report also states that Huang’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel in the six seconds that preceded the crash.
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