A Tesla owner has found himself in the middle of a fight worth over $ 100,000 in property damage after the Model 3 Performance crashed while being driven out of a serviced parking garage. Despite being right and having proof to back up his claims, the Tesla owner has ended up in an uphill battle that could last for some time.
From routine to horror
It should be a routine process. After Model 3 parked in a multi-story garage, the Tesla owner requested that his vehicle be returned to him. An officer continued to retrieve the Model 3 from the parking lot. A Teslacam video of an officer driving the vehicle showed that everything seemed normal, despite the parking garage employee driving a little fast in such a cramped room.
Moments later, the Tesla owner was shocked when part of the parking garage walls on the second floor crashed into the sidewalk below. Photos taken by the electric car owner after the incident revealed that a vehicle was partially pushed through the brick walls of the parking garage. Fearing the worst, the Tesla driver ran up to check on the officer and model 3.
What he saw confirmed the fear. Crushed against two cars was his blue Tesla Model 3 Performance, the front end crushed when it collided with other parked cars.
When the officer stumbled out of Model 3, he immediately claimed that Tesla suddenly engaged Autopilot and drove into the other vehicles. Officer did not joke.
While those inexperienced with Tesla’s technology may find it easy to blame Autopilot for avoiding liability when something terrible happens, those familiar with the driver assistance system know that Autopilot could not be engaged in more places. One of these is of course a parking garage with several floors. The Model 3 owner then knew something was wrong when the officer told him that the “Autopilot” suddenly drove Tesla into the other vehicles.
The parking garage company claimed innocence by saying that the incident was caused by “unintentional acceleration” on the part of Model 3. The company refused to rock, and the Tesla owner decided to fight all the way. Because he was familiar with how Tesla stores the vehicle’s data, the Model 3 owner decided to gather so much evidence that it would not be possible to insure the company’s loss on the case.
The search for evidence
In cases like these, which involve a party claiming unintentional acceleration through “Autopilot,” it is always best to have a Tesla Event Data Recorder (EDR) report. EDR is like the car’s black box, and records everything that has happened in the vehicle. Everything, from the driver’s weight, the vehicle’s speed, which pedals were depressed and how far they were depressed, could all be determined in the EDR report. The Model 3 owner then contacted Tesla for help retrieving the car’s records.
Tesla refused, to great concern, citing legal reasons because he lives outside California. In a statement to the YouTube channel Wham Baam Teslacam, the Model 3 owner noted that he is not entirely sure why Tesla denied the request, although he believes that if it was his lawyer who contacted the electric car manufacturer, the results would have been different. Disappointed, but not deterred, the Model 3 owner ended up hiring an EDR technician to retrieve Tesla’s report. The move cost him $ 1,300.
The EDR report was damning. A look at the data from Model 3 showed that the officer did not even wear a seatbelt while the officer operated Tesla. The vehicle also moved quite fast for a car to be driven out of a multi-storey car park. But more importantly, the EDR showed that the officer had applied 100% pressure on the accelerator pedal and 0% pressure on the brake pedal right up until the crash. With this data, the Model 3 owner realized that he could finally prove that the parking garage’s unintentional acceleration requirements were untrue.
But despite the evidence provided by the EDR report, the parking garage company decided to dig its heels in the sand and stand by their claim of accidental acceleration. The Model 3 owner’s insurance company has paid out several claims for damages as a result of the incident, and has promised to reimburse him after the lawsuit is closed. But that process can take quite a long time.
The incident resulted in repairs to the Model 3 Performance worth $ 24,000. By adding the damage to the other vehicles involved in the incident, and the actual damage to the multi-storey building itself, the total cost of property damage after the crash is estimated to be well over $ 100,000.
Finally, the Tesla owner’s experience with the parking garage highlights two remarkable things. One, parking garage and valet should know that it is difficult to lie about what one does in a Tesla, since data from EDR would certainly show the truth. And secondly, Tesla’s service has a lot of room for improvement, so owners who turn to the company for help after such an upsetting, aggravating incident will not be rejected. An EDR request, especially one from an owner involved in an accident, is, after all, better approved.
See Wham Baam Teslacamits feature on the remarkable event in the video below.
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