Tesla faces lawsuit over 116-mph fatal crash; victim's family blames 'dangerous' battery

Tesla argues that no car could have withstood such a high-speed crash.

Tesla has been hit with a lawsuit over the death of a teenager in a fiery Model S crash last year.

The teenage driver was traveling 116 mph in a 30-mph zone when he lost control of the car, killing both front seat occupants when the car crashed into a concrete wall. The estate of the front passenger is now seeking compensation from Tesla, arguing that the death was caused by a defective battery pack and Tesla's negligence rather than the driver's recklessness, according to Reuters.

The father of the driver had asked Tesla to implement a speed limiter on the car after his son had received a ticket for traveling 112 mph a few months before the crash. The lawsuit claims the 85-mph software limit was lifted at subsequent service appointment without the parents' approval.

Like a few other high-speed crashes involving Tesla vehicles, the battery ignited on impact and reignited after the initial fire was put out. The company has argued that its vehicles are nonetheless much safer than gasoline-fueled cars, which frequently burst into flames when crashed but do not generate the same attention-grabbing headlines.

"No car could have withstood a high-speed crash of this kind," Tesla said in a statement.

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