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Texas cops are suing Tesla after a car allegedly on Autopilot slammed through 5 officers at a traffic stop

The suit alleges that Tesla has falsely advertised that its Autopilot software can execute driving functions better than a human.

tesla crash on highway
Image: Click2Houston

During a routine traffic stop, five Texas cops were injured when a Tesla on Autopilot allegedly struck them on the side of an expressway. Now the officers are suing the company for falsely advertising its Autopilot feature. 

According to the lawsuit, the officers were pulling over another car onto the expressway from the right-hand lane of the expressway. A short time later, the Model X struck the two police cars at 70 mph. No injuries were described in the court document. 

The suit is centered around how Tesla falsely advertises its Autopilot software, claiming it can execute driving functions better than a human. Here’s how one attorney describes these claims via Business Insider

“You’ve probably seen that Elon Musk and Tesla have proudly touted Teslas on autopilot are safer than your everyday driver, that Tesla’s on autopilot there are fewer accidents than they are otherwise,” attorney Tony Buzbee said in an interview with local channel KPRC 2. “But what we’ve learned is that this information is misleading.” 

READ MORE: Welcome to the future: Watch a driverless car try to evade the cops

“The officers want to hold Tesla accountable, and force Tesla to publicly acknowledge and immediately correct the known defects inherent in its Autopilot and collision avoidance systems, particularly as those impact the ongoing safety of our nation’s first responders,” the lawsuit said.

So how much are the cops looking for in this lawsuit? Well, it’s a lot. It’s somewhere in the range of $1 million and up to $20 million. On top of that, the policemen have also filed a lawsuit against Pappas Restaurants, alleging the Tesla driver was overserved alcohol prior to the accident.

Teslas and emergency response vehicles have been in the news a lot lately, and for all the bad reasons. This isn’t an isolated incident and it happens quite a bit. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators have found over 11 cases since 2018 in which vehicles were struck by Teslas operating in Autopilot or “Traffic Aware Cruise Control” mode.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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