Just like most big and successful companies, Tesla is facing a lawsuit, too. You should know that Tesla Inc. Is an American automaker, energy storage company and solar panel manufacturer based in Palo Alto, CA. Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded the company in 2003. But that is not all. Elon Musk, JB Staubel, and Ian Wright are known to be its co-founders, as well. The “green” oriented company is going through a rough time. On July 1, 2017, a regenerative braking lawsuit claims Tesla Model S cars and Model X SUVs have dangerous braking systems. Those may cause the cars to crash in snowy or icy conditions. Horrifying, if you think. Moreover, the braking class-action lawsuit includes all U.S. consumers who ever purchased 2012-2017 Tesla Model S cars and 2016-2017 Tesla Model X SUVs.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. And what is so great about this lawsuit is that the plaintiffs are represented by the Margarian Law Firm. The firm’s amazing lawyers specialize in different areas, one which is class action lawsuits. It is safe to say that the plaintiffs’ rights will be protected 100%.
How did it all start
It all started when a plaintiff Roy Wiseman was driving in California. And suddenly he started running into snow at higher elevations. What do you do when you are running into snow? Wiseman slowed down and removed his foot slightly off the accelerator pedal to slow down. However, the slowing down didn’t work quite well. It caused the regenerative braking system to activate and apply negative torque to the wheels. And in the end, the Model X slid off the road into the mountainside. The car crashed into trees and branches. As all car crashes are horrifying, this was too. Wiseman and his passenger stayed in the damaged Model X in the cold snow waiting for help. And the help only arrived in an hour.
The lawsuit goes on about Tesla Model S and Model X being equipped with one or two electric motors. Those use electricity from the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery packs in order to rotate the rear wheels or all four of them.
Do you know why kinetic energy turns into electricity? It does in order to recharge the lithium-ion batteries. Let’s back up a bit. So when the person driving the car presses the accelerator pedal, the electric energy transfers from the lithium-ion battery packs to the electric motor to propel the vehicle. What happens next is that the driver releases the accelerator pedal while the car is moving. And the electric motor begins to act as a power generator. And so it goes.
Tesla’s Power regeneration
It is all because of Tesla’s power regeneration. Imagine a gasoline-powered car. It will usually coast when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, right? But it is different with Tesla vehicles. They begin to quickly decelerate as a result of power regeneration. This process is called to be “regenerative braking.” And everything goes down the hill when Tesla system activates when the driver lets off the accelerator pedal.
As the plaintiffs present, the driver is in danger of losing control on slippery roads because of the mandatory braking the vehicle imposes on the driver. The lawsuit claims the same idea: the regenerative braking systems create a risk for the cars to lose control in snowy conditions.
But it is not like no one knew about this problem. And it is not like everyone knew and no one tried to do something. In 2007 Tesla posted on its website a message. It said that the automaker had “developed a verified safety feature.” The feature is called “regen control.” It was made to minimize the regenerative braking when the car’s rear wheels start to slip. However, the lawsuit claims that 10 years have passed from 2007 and the Tesla vehicles still have that same problem.
Tesla is not all perfect. Besides the issue of regenerative braking is also has another braking system limitations. For example, the car may not function when the battery is too full. Weird, right? We all thought that full battery was nothing but great.
The plaintiffs also claim that if they knew about the regenerative braking system being defective and dangerous they would not have bought the SUV. But, as it is too late now to undo the past, let’s hope for the best in the near future for upcoming consumers of Tesla.