Tesla Sued Over Fatal Model 3 Crash

Electric Vehicles / 24 Comments

The deceased driver reportedly took the car to a dealership four days before the accident, citing suspension issues.

A fatal accident involving a Tesla Model 3 has sparked a lawsuit by the driver's family in a Florida state court, reports Reuters.

Last year, Nicholas G. Garcia, 20, and his passenger Jazmin Alcala, 19, were tragically killed when the Model 3 they were traveling in lost control and hit a tree before catching fire. The vehicle's undercarriage made contact with the road, where it hit a hump at the center of an intersection.

According to the lawsuit, the 2021 Tesla had a "defective and unreasonably dangerous suspension that may cause loss of control during ordinary and foreseeable driving conditions."

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2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Side View Tesla
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According to the lawsuit, Garcia took the Model 3 to a Tesla store just four days before the accident in September, noting problems with the suspension, steering, electronics, and issues with opening the doors. A preliminary report released in November by the National Transportation Safety Board has said the car was speeding before the incident occurred, but the lawsuit is accusing a service manager of inattentive inspection.

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y's produced between 2019 and 2021 were the subject of a recall last year, with nearly 2,800 examples recalled over a suspension issue that could see the front left lateral link loosening from the chassis, which could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is currently unknown whether Garcia's Model 3 was part of the recall.

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This isn't the only time Tesla has been plagued with suspension issues, though. In June 2020, CarBuzz reported on a brand new Model X, whose wheel fell off due to a failing control arm. Months later, the isolated incident turned out to be something far bigger, with the NHTSA stepping in to investigate numerous complaints regarding possible suspension failures.

In the video footage below, the Model 3 can be seen speeding through the intersection, sparks flying as the bottom of the electric vehicle makes contact with the roadway. Moments later, the car flies off the road before bursting into flames. Reuters notes the lawsuit seeks damages of more than $30,000 from Tesla and the alleged negligent service manager. Tesla is yet to comment on the legal proceedings.

2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Forward View Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Side View Driving Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Dashboard Tesla
2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Back Seats Tesla
Source Credits: Reuters

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