Jiyoung Yoon said her partner Jyung Woo Hahn, 46 years old, died when his allegedly defective Tesla EV crashed into a tree and trapped him in a blazing fire caused by the car's lithium battery.
On March 12, 2022, Hahn's 2020 Model-S skidded off the snow-covered highway in Bergan County, New Jersey, and burst into flames. According to fire officials, the battery ruptured and made the fire very difficult to extinguish.
Hahn, who had two children, was declared dead at the scene.
In a lawsuit filed on Aug. 18, Yoon claimed that while Hahn initially survived the crash, he burned to death after he was trapped in the faulty Tesla.
She is accusing Tesla of designing, manufacturing and selling an "unreasonably dangerous" car that caused Hahn's suffering and tragic death.
Gruesome photos revealed by the plaintiff showed the charred remains of the destroyed luxury car. The images showed that the car's interior was destroyed by the fire which burned at temperatures of over 700 degrees Fahrenheit because of the battery, reported fire officials.
Crews had to use more than 1,000 gallons of water to put out the fire caused by the explosion.
Jiyoung's team is seeking reparations from Tesla for emotional damage, mental anguish and all actual damages. The team said they want the lawsuit to proceed to a jury trial. (Related: Over 90% of reported crashes involving self-driving cars were caused by Tesla vehicles – some led to DEATHS.)
This isn't the first instance of Tesla cars having dangerous battery issues. In November last year, Pennsylvania firefighters spent two hours trying to put out a Tesla's flames with 12,000 gallons of water.
According to a post on the Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Company's Facebook page, they needed to request several tanker trucks to keep the batteries cool after the fire was extinguished.
The company added that a large amount of water is required for this type of fire to keep the batteries cool and to make sure they do not reignite. The car burnt so hot and long that without the rims, it would have been difficult to tell that the incident involved a car.
Michelle and Bob, owners of the affected Tesla Model S, had bought the car home only one week before it was burnt beyond recognition. The couple were driving from Pennsylvania to Yarmouth, Massachusetts, to visit a relative when their Tesla hit a large piece of unavoidable debris in the middle of the road.
When the debris went underneath the Tesla, it caused the electric sedan to smoke. After Michelle and Bob pulled over and exited their Tesla, the sedan caught fire. The incident didn't cause any injuries.
In another incident this January, firefighters unloaded 6,000 gallons of water on a flaming Tesla in Sacramento, California. The electric car ignited when its battery spontaneously combusted while on a drive along Highway 50 near Rancho Cordova.
According to a tweet from the Metro Fire of Sacramento, the Tesla's battery compartment "spontaneously caught fire while it was traveling freeway speeds on EB Hwy 50." No injuries were reported after the incident, but it shut down two lanes of traffic on Highway 50.
According to a recent announcement, Tesla is recalling at least 16,000 of its 2021-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles because some front-row seat belts might not have been reattached properly.
The glaring error could cause a safety issue in case of a collision, resulting in Tesla taking all of the vehicles back in for repairs.
In 2022, Musk's company recalled more than 50,000 cars for concerns over the infamous self-driving function. Officials said some cars had a "rolling stop" function which would cause the car to speed through intersections instead of stopping at stop signs.
Learn more about the dangers of electric vehicles at RoboCars.news.
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