ALAMEDA COUNTY (KPIX 5) — A California family filed a lawsuit in Alameda County suing Tesla after the car pinned an eight month pregnant woman into the wall of her own garage. But is Tesla at fault or her 2-year-old son? Tesla says it has evidence someone pressed the accelerator.
The Harcourt family purchased their brand new 2019 Model X when Mallory Harcourt was eight months pregnant, just three days after taking the car home. The Model X accelerated right into her, breaking her bones and sending her into premature labor.
Harcourt’s attorney, Alison Gokal, said, “She was pinned for 10 minutes. In that time, her pelvis fractured in three places and her femur was broken.”
The family admits Harcourt’s 2-year-old-son was inside the Tesla at the time of the crash. He had snuck back into the car while his mother was unloading groceries.
In a letter Gokal wrote to Tesla, she explains the child did lodge himself between the accelerator and driver’s seat, then pulled the gear lever before accelerating into his mom. But this lawsuit alleges the Model X’s poor design is at fault.
“That’s their whole argument is that vehicle doesn’t operate like a normal car. It’s so easy that a child that’s not even potty trained can some how operate it and send it full throttle,” Gokal said.
Tesla responded to Harcourt’s attorney in a letter: “After reviewing the diagnostic log data, the vehicle was operating as designed and responded appropriately to the inputs supplied – albeit, in this case, some of those inputs were reportedly coming from your client’s young son.”
The Harcourt family can’t believe that a two-year-old can operate a Tesla and wonders what the other inputs are.
Gokal also says Tesla has not turned over the car’s diagnostic log. She’s demanding full transparency so an incident like this never happens again. “Our goal is for Tesla to take simple steps to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family,” Gokal said.
The Harcourt family lives in Santa Barbara and despite this incident, Mallory Harcourt gave birth to a healthy baby girl.