One woman is suing Tesla, alleging a Model X pinned her against a wall, breaking bones and sending her into premature labor.
According to Business Insider, Mallory Harcourt just bought a brand-new 2019 Tesla Model X. She took her ride out to pick up some groceries with her two-year-old son, then returned home. She says she pulled the car into her garage and parked the SUV. She got out, walked to the back, opened the back door to grab her son to bring him, and the groceries, inside. The two-year-old then ran back into the car and Harcourt chased him. They say that Harcourt's son moved from the back row to the front, and got stuck between the driver's seat and the pedal. As she walked in front of the vehicle, the SUV moved, possibly from the child's accidental input, pinning her to the wall. Thankfully, her neighbors heard cries for help and called an ambulance to help her. While she was in the hospital, she went into premature labor.
Her lawsuit, which was filed on May 17, 2019, says the Tesla Model X does not have proper driver occupancy sensors, and some kind of internal logic to ensure the car doesn't start unless the doors are closed. She also accuses the company of emboldening their sales-people to tell customers their cars are perfectly safe.
Tesla has not divulged the inner working's of the car's computer at the time of the incident, but they did share the car's log when responding to Harcourt's lawyers. They say the vehicle responded to its commands properly, and some of those commands were caused by Harcourt's son. The logs show the car was put into drive, and the drive pedal was pressed, causing the Model X to move forward.
Unfortunately for Harcourt, Tesla does not cover this kind of incident with their insurance, but they did offer to repurchase the SUV — at resale value.
This will be an interesting case to follow. The Model X could definitely use some more safety features if a toddler who isn't sitting in the driver's seat can accelerate the car, but if it was placed in drive, then it should move. Regardless, it's an unfortunate situation to be in. We hope Harcourt's recovering well and her new bundle of joy is happy and healthy!