Elon Musk is no stranger to the inside of a courtroom, and his flagship company is currently fighting another high-profile case relating to a death that was allegedly caused by Tesla’s Autopilot feature. The case, which went to trial in California on September 28, claims a Model 3 owner was killed when the software caused his vehicle to leave the highway at 65 mph, hit a tree, and subsequently catch fire. Driver Micah Lee was killed in the crash, and two passengers traveling in the vehicle were injured.
The trial is the result of a civil lawsuit, but could still set precedents that have wide-reaching ramifications within the automotive industry. Tesla’s software is also linked to a number of other crashes. One incident, which involved a nine-car pileup, took place just hours after the long-awaited Full Self-Driving beta became available to customers. A report from the summer of 2023 suggested that over 730 car accidents had already been linked to Tesla’s self-driving system. Earlier this year, 360,000 of the company’s vehicles were recalled over concerns about their self-driving software.