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Tesla Model S Crashes in Kaufman County While in ‘Auto-Pilot’ and Why It Is a Big Deal

KAUFMAN, Texas — A Tesla Model S being driven in Autopilot crashed on U.S. Highway 175 in Kaufman earlier this month, according to a crash report obtained by
On August 7, 2016, the driver, 44-year-old Mark Molthan of Dallas, Texas, was traveling in the 2000 block of U.S. Highway 175 in Kaufman when the vehicle, while in Autopilot, failed to maintain a single lane of traffic at a bend in the highway and impacted the cable guardrail in multiple areas, according to the report.

In a phone interview with Bloomberg News, Molthan admits he was not paying full attention to the road — having reached into the glovebox to remove a cloth to clean the dashboard.

Molthan told Bloomberg that the car didn’t stop. Instead it actually continued to accelerate after the first impact into the guardrail.

Tesla describes its Autopilot, a feature which is disabled by default, describes the Autopilot features as an “assist feature” that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel.

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Firm Commentary:

This car crash in Kaufman county highlights the continued dangers of using Autopilot features in newer vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S in the story above. The technology is very new and there have been numerous car accidents involving drivers who have been lulled into a false sense of security while driving their new Model S and have been injured or killed as a result.

This function, while very cool and futuristic, comes with very real risk. These car manufacturers were aware of those risks when they decided to sell the vehicles and if there are glitches in their system that put drivers at risk, such as an inability to follow a corner, then drivers need to be made whole as a result. This is true regardless of whether you were looking into the glove box for a tissue or whatever it was.

This type of case most assuredly be a products liability case and would include claims for negligence, gross negligence, as well as all forms of compensation such as mental anguish and pain and suffering on top of physical injuries. This is a big deal and should be treated that way and if the federal investigation into the death of a driver a few months back lets us know one thing: the issue is not about to go away.

About Our Firm:


Guest and Gray, P.C. is an experienced litigation team serving all North Texas counties. We are the largest and highest rated law firm in Rockwall and Kaufman County. We regularly pursue and defend various civil litigation claims, including personal injury claims. Our practice is quickly growing, and we have multiple offices in the Dallas, Rockwall and Forney area to provide convenience to our clients. We are longtime faces in our community and we love what we do. We seek to provide an air of calm and confidence for our clients during a difficult time. We believe that makes us a little bit different from everybody else, and we like it that way.

For more information, or if you are seeking legal advice, give us a call at (972) 564-4644.