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Family Who Loses Son in Florida Tesla Crash Sues Company over Defective Battery


Parents of one teenager who died tragically last year after his 2014 Tesla Model S sedan caught on fire are suing the company, alleging that the battery was defective and that the company failed to warn purchasers of the battery’s inherently dangerous condition, leading to their son’s wrongful death. The crash also reportedly resulted in the death of the driver, another teen who was thrown from the car.

According to the preliminary report assembled by the National Transportation Safety Board, the car was traveling at 116 miles per hour (mph) before it crashed, even though, according to the vehicle owners, they previously had a device installed in the vehicle limiting the speed to 85 mph–a device that they claim was removed by Tesla without their permission or knowledge during a previous service visit–placing their son’s life in danger. Once the vehicle hit a wall twice, it reportedly erupted into flames, and the car’s battery also reignited twice even after firefighters put out the flames.

Regardless Of Speed, These Accidents Are Everywhere

Following the accident, Tesla reportedly added a software feature that limits speed to the car, called the “Speed Limit Mode.” Meanwhile, Tesla maintains that any car that crashes into a wall at that speed would catch on fire, regardless.

Still, there have been around a dozen reported cases of Tesla S batteries catching on fire both while stationary and in accidents. One of those incidents involved a Tesla car catching on fire after a bullet was fired into the battery. On January 9, Tesla announced that it would be discontinuing the 75 kWh battery pack in the Model S and X starting in mid-January.

Tesla Distracts With Claims about Brake Pad Replacement in Vehicles

Meanwhile, there are reports that Tesla officials are making somewhat broad statements about other features of its vehicles–such as claiming that brake pads on the cars will never need to be replaced–perhaps in an effort to detract from all the battery incidents and lawsuits. It is a curious claim, given that the regenerative braking system on these cars is very similar to that of other cars on the market, and these other automakers reported that the brake pads do indeed need to be replaced from time to time. In addition, Tesla’s own Model S and X owner manuals reportedly indicate that failing to replace worn brake pads can result in braking hazards.

Contact Our Florida Injury, Wrongful Death & Products Liability Attorneys

Any vehicle that proceeds to catch on fire several times after firefighters have ignited the fire clearly has a defect. If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed in an accident that involved a manufacturing defect like this, contact our Florida products liability attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out how we can help.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at


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