Case Of Toddler Hitting Mom With Tesla Model X Heads To Court

Estimated read time 2 min read

Despite how it’s being framed by certain media outlets, a case involving a toddler hitting his pregnant mother with the family’s Tesla Model X isn’t all that out of the ordinary. After all, for those who seem to have forgotten, Toyota, Chrysler, Audi, and other automakers have been sued and their reputations attacked after owners claim defective designs caused unintentional acceleration, crashes, etc.

Tesla blocks Model 3 owner from using any Superchargers.

But this case out of California is being treated differently. Really, what’s on trial are the safety systems used in so many Tesla EVs. Many have strong opinions on Autopilot, Full Self Driving, and other technology used by the upstart automaker, fueling interest in this case.

At the center of the lawsuit is the claim made by the mother that the 2018 Tesla Model X was “defective” says Business Insider. The two-year-old son was able to get into the vehicle, start it, and drive it at his mother, who was eight months pregnant at the time, pinning her to the wall of the garage at the family’s home.

The accident left the mother with a broken pelvis and the baby was born prematurely. We can imagine it was a scary situation, so we don’t blame the mother for seeking a legal resolution.

Her attorneys are arguing that since a toddler was able to start and put the Tesla SUV into gear it’s in essence defective. Whether you think that sounds reasonable or not, if the jury finds Tesla liable based on that, this could affect how all automakers design vehicles moving forward.

But Tesla sees things differently. Its attorneys argue that since the mother left the Model X’s doors open and the keys inside, with her young son unattended by it, she was acting negligently. It also points out that she hadn’t activated the PIN-to-Drive feature on the EV, which would’ve made it impossible for the son to move the vehicle.

While some are eager to see Tesla punished for whatever reasons, we’re more concerned about the precedence a case like this might set for the entire auto industry. Until we know the outcome, it’s hard to say what that might be.

Image via Laura Aranguren/Facebook

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Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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