With trial ready to get underway, Tesla settles Walter Huang wrongful death lawsuit.

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Walter Huang Tesla Crash Lawsuit Settled
With trial ready to get underway, Tesla settles Walter Huang wrongful death lawsuit.

— The Walter Huang Tesla crash lawsuit has been settled on the very day jury selection began, a case watched by many attorneys and safety advocates who will now be deprived of hearing evidence presented to a jury.

The wrongful death lawsuit settlement was reached between Tesla and the family of Walter Huang, with Tesla's attorneys requesting the settlement terms be sealed and confidential.

The Tesla Model X crash killed 38-year-old Walter Huang who was playing a video game on his phone when his SUV slammed into a concrete highway median crash attenuator. Attenuators are meant to decrease crash forces if a vehicle leaves the roadway.

The fatal 2018 crash was the focus of an investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board which determined multiple factors caused the crash.

The NTSB found the probable cause of the crash was Tesla's Autopilot system which steered the Model X into the barrier.

In addition, driver Walter Huang was distracted by playing a video game on his cell phone while the Model X was traveling on Autopilot at 71 mph.

His focus was not on the vehicle or his surroundings even though he had previously complained about his Model X steering toward the exact same crash attenuator when Autopilot was engaged.

NTSB investigators also found bright sunlight likely interfered with the cameras on the SUV, and the road lane lines were faded which prevented Autopilot from working properly. The NTSB further said the close distance between the Model X and the vehicle ahead likely caused problems with the Autopilot system.

The NTSB report also said the California Highway Patrol didn't report previous crash attenuator damage which contributed to the driver's injuries and death. Additionally, the California Department of Transportation didn't repair the previously damaged crash barrier in a timely manner.

Tesla argues data from the Model X show Mr Huang’s hands didn't touch the steering wheel for six seconds prior to the crash, and he took no evasive actions or applied the brakes to prevent the crash.

Huang's family sued by alleging Tesla lied by advertising its Autopilot system as safe, making Huang believe the Model X and its systems were safe and reliable.


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