Tesla is facing a lawsuit from a woman who says her brain injury was caused by the defective airbags and seatbelts in her Model 3 vehicle. According to a Law360 report, the lawsuit was filed by Kristian E., a woman from Maryland who was involved in a car accident in July 2019 on the I-95. The lawsuit, which was filed in Alameda County Superior Court, says her husband was driving the Tesla Model 3 and Kristian was sitting in the front passenger seat when another driver swerved into their lane.
Airbags and Seatbelt Fail
The other vehicle struck their Model 3 on the passenger side causing it to crash into a guardrail before stopping on the median. The Tesla was totaled, but none of the airbags deployed, the complaint stated. As a result of the failure of the passenger-side airbags to deploy, Kristian’s head rammed against the interior and she suffered traumatic brain injuries.
The lawsuit also blames her head injuries on the failure of the front passenger seatbelt to restrain her properly during the accident. The complaint says Tesla greatly exaggerates the crashworthiness of the Model 3, for example, claiming that vehicle occupants are “less likely to get seriously hurt in crashes when in a Model 3 than any other car.”
Tesla also claims in its ads for the Model 3 that they engineered it “to be the safest car ever built,” the lawsuit states. However, the lawsuit says the Model 3 did not perform as advertised.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Based on this news report and the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff, it appears that the woman suffered a traumatic brain injury because the Model 3’s passenger-side airbag did not protect her during the accident, and the passenger-side seatbelt did not restrain her properly. The consequences can be devastating when safety features such as airbags and seatbelts fail during a car accident.
A traumatic brain injury can leave victims with lifelong disabilities and problems such as memory and behavioral issues. This lawsuit also raises concerns about whether this is a problem with other Tesla vehicles. If that is the case, the automaker should initiate a recall and repairs. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.