Omar Awan, a 48-year-old doctor who was driving his dream car, the Tesla Model S lost control on a road in South Florida and slammed into a palm tree. The family’s lawyers have blamed the car’s futuristic design features that killed the doctor and not the accident.
After the crash, the Tesla’s lithium ion battery caught fire. Smoke and flames filled the car, suffocating Omar and burning him from his feet up. Outside, a crowd gathered, but couldn’t help.
This was because the he car’s retractable door handles, which are supposed to “auto-present” when they detect a key fob nearby, malfunctioned and first responders weren’t able to open the doors and save Omar, therefore the family have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.
“The fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition – all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk,” the suit read.
The autopsy report found that Omar’s cause of death as “inhalation of products of combustion with a contributory cause of death of thermal injuries.”
After the crash, and after firefighters extinguished the blaze, Awan’s Tesla was transported to a tow yard. Once there, the car reignited and burned again.
Omar a anesthesiologist and father of five, leased the Model S for two reasons, family attorney Stuart Grossman said: he was environmentally sensitive and safety conscious.
Tesla’s public relations team is yet to respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
But shortly after the February crash, Tesla spokeswoman said, “We are deeply saddened by this accident” but that “Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world and Tesla drivers have driven more than 10 billion miles to date.”
A similar incident in 2018, also blamed Tesla after a battery fire. There are several other lawsuits that were attributed due to Tesla’s “Autopilot” system, an automatic driver-assistance feature.