PROVO – The attorney representing a Utah woman suing Tesla is speaking out for the first time.
George Chingas says his client Heather Lommatzsch is suffering emotionally and physically from the May crash.
In May, the 29-year old crashed her car going 60 miles per hour into a fire truck stopped on Bangerter Highway in South Jordan. Chingas said she tried to brake when she saw the stopped traffic, but the brakes didn’t work.
“There's supposed to be an audio warning to the driver if there's an obstacle in the pathway of the vehicle. There’s a visual warning to warn the driver as well,” Chingas said.
Police found Lommatzsch at fault saying she took her hand off the steering wheel several times before the crash. Her attorney admits she was looking at the GPS on the phone.
But because she owned for car for two years, and used autopilot before, she expected it to kick in – as the salesperson promised.
“We believe that her actions were reasonable given the advertising that Tesla puts out there regarding the autopilot, regarding her familiarity with it,” Chingas said.
She is also suing Service King Paint & Body who replaced a sensor on the car before the crash.
Tesla released a statement:
"When using autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times. Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents."
Lommatzsch is seeking $300,000 in damages. She broke her foot, and has had several surgeries since then. Chingas said Tesla needs to be held accountable for overselling the cars autopilot capabilities.
“There’s been a couple accidents I believe in California. There’s been an accident in Florida. Some of those accidents involve deaths. NTSB has been investigating. I know NTSB has been investigating those accidents. So, yeah I think there’s cause for concern.”