A Tesla car owner is facing property damage litigation after his Model 3 ‘Performance’ was involved in a bizarre crash while being driven out by a valet from a parking garage.
The blue Tesla Model 3 is an electric four-door fastback mid-size sedan. According to Tesla, the Model 3 carries full self-driving hardware, with periodic software updates adding functionality.
The name of the car owner is withheld since the case is in the litigation stage. The owner had parked the car at a multi-story parking garage, after which he asked his vehicle to be returned to him.
Following this, the valet took hold of the keys and went on to retrieve the car from the parking spot in the narrow garage.
According to reports, while the first few turns of the garage were normal, suddenly, the Tesla car accelerated and crashed into another parked vehicle.
The impact appeared to be so high that the parked vehicle was sent backward through the wall and almost ended up falling from the first floor.
Moreover, a part of the parking garage’s second-floor walls also came crashing into the sidewalk below. The total damages caused have been estimated at more than $100,000.
Following the incident, the owner of the car quickly ran up to check on the valet and his car and found that his car was smashed against two vehicles with its front end crushed as a result of the collision.
The valet, however, claimed that he was not at fault for the crash as the Tesla vehicle went into autopilot mode on its own before crashing into the parked vehicle.
The owner refused to believe the valet and as per reports, later consulted the TeslaCam footage, which is the company’s Tesla’s integrated dashcam system that uses autopilot cameras.
He found the footage to be inconclusive and even the parking garage company claimed innocence by stating that the incident was caused by “unintended acceleration” on behalf of the car.
Reports also suggest that the owner then decided to collect all the necessary data to fight the case and contacted Tesla for a copy of the EDR (event data recorder) report, which is the Black Box of the vehicle that records every detail.
However, Tesla refused to provide the details due to legal reasons, after which the owner contacted an EDR technician, who charged him $1,300.
The 70-page EDR report disclosed how the valet driver was at fault, as at the time of impact, for 0.4 seconds before the vehicle crashed, the accelerator was at 100% actuation and the driver had not even worn his seatbelt.
Despite the report, the garage owner has refused to take responsibility, with the insurance company only reimburse for the damages once litigation is completed.