On many levels and in many ways the Tesla Model S has garnered a reputation as being a highly regarded vehicle. With that said, like any other automobile, the possibility exists for a design flaw that can results in a driver or passenger being unnecessarily injured or even killed. The story of a 48-year old Florida anesthesiologist underscores how such a turn of events can occur.
Dr. Omar Awan was motoring near Davie, Florida, earlier this year. His car veered off the road in what initially was a nonfatal incident. The impact resulted in the Tesla lithium-ion battery catching fire. The manner in which the battery fire ignited left the driver plenty of time to evacuate the car. Moreover, he didn’t suffer any physical injuries at that juncture that prevented him from getting out of the car and to safety.
What did prevent the driver from getting out of his car was a malfunction of the Tesla doors. The Tesla Model S has retractable door handles that are said to be designed to “pop out” when the key fob is detected. In the aftermath of the car veering off the roadway, the cars doors did not function properly. Not only was the driver unable to get out of the car himself, rescue workers were unable to open the doors.
The driver died from smoke inhalation, with his remains ending up being burnt beyond recognition. The autopsy revealed that the doctor killed in the Tesla Model S suffered no internal injuries or broken bones as a result of the initial accident. His death could be traced directly to the fact that he was unable to get out of the car because of the door malfunction.
Dr. Omar Awan was able to purchase a wide array of different types of cars when he selected the Tesla Model S. He bought the Tesla model because he appreciated the fact that the car is considered more environmentally friendly. He also made the decision to purchase the Tesla Model S because of its advertised safety.
Manufacturing and Design Defects
Many motor vehicle accidents occur as the result of some type of negligence by a driver. However, a notable number of automobile accidents happen because of some sort of manufacturing or design defect in a vehicle. For example, an argument is now being made that the death of the doctor described a moment ago occurred because of a flaw in the door handles on the Tesla Model S.
Using the door handles as an example, there could have been an error in the way they were manufactured or installed by Tesla. In the alternative, there could be an inherent defect in the design of the Tesla Model S door handles.
There is also some discussion about the safety of the lithium-ion battery. Batteries similar to what was found in the Tesla Model S have been subject to some controversy through the years. In the lawsuit brought by the family of Dr. Awan, allegations are being made about a design defect in the Tesla Model S door handles. In addition, attorneys for the family of the deceased driver are also contending that the lithium-ion battery in this model of Tesla presents an unreasonable risk of fire.
Although this case (and perhaps others arising down the pike) involve a Tesla, the stark reality is that manufacturing and design defects occur in automobiles of all types. Sadly, every year thousands of people are injured, sometimes fatally so, in accidents that arise (at least in part) due to manufacturing or design defects.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, a skilled car accident lawyer from the legal team at The Doan Law Office can protect your vital legal rights. This includes determining the underlying causes that contributed to a vehicle accident in the first place, including manufacturing or design defects.
You can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a Doan Law Firm car accident lawyer any time by calling (800) 349-0000. There is no charge for an initial consultation. The Doan Law Firm also makes an attorney fee promise: A client never pays a legal fee unless the firm wins the case.