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California jury finds Tesla Autopilot did not fail in crash


Apr 21, 2023
California jury finds Tesla Autopilot did not fail in crash



LOS ANGELES — A California state court jury on Friday handed Tesla a sweeping win, finding that the carmaker’s Autopilot feature did not fail to perform safely in what appears to be the first trial related to a crash involving the partially automated driving software.

The verdict could be an important victory for Tesla as it tests and rolls out its Autopilot and more advanced “Full Self-Driving (FSD)” system, which Chief Executive Elon Musk has touted as crucial to his company’s future, but which has drawn regulatory and legal scrutiny.

Justine Hsu, a resident of Los Angeles, sued the electric-vehicle maker in 2020, saying her Tesla Model S swerved into a curb while it was on Autopilot and then an airbag was deployed “so violently it fractured Plaintiff’s jaw, knocked out teeth, and caused nerve damage to her face.”

She alleged there are defects in the design of Autopilot and the airbag, and sought more than $3 million in damages for the alleged defects and other claims. Tesla Autopilot and FSD are the subject of a series of federal safety investigations.

Tesla denied liability for the 2019 accident. It said in a court filing that Hsu used Autopilot on city streets, despite Tesla’s user manual warning against doing so.

During a court hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, the jury awarded Hsu zero damages. It also found that the airbag did not fail to perform safely, and that Tesla did not intentionally fail to disclose facts to her.

Representatives for Tesla and an attorney for Hsu did not immediately comment.


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