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Tesla Settles AutoPilot Lawsuit, Faces Wage Violation Class Action

Last Updated April 9, 2024 5:20 PM
James Morales
Last Updated April 9, 2024 5:20 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla has settled a lawsuit relating to its autopilot driver assistance platform.
  • However, the firm now faces a class action suit over alleged labor law violations in California.
  • The car maker’s California factories are also at the center of ongoing litigation relating to racism in the workplace.

As the most valuable automaker in the world, it is perhaps inevitable that Tesla must face a never-ending stream of lawsuits from disgruntled customers, employees and crash victims.

Just as the firm has put a lawsuit relating to its autopilot driver assistance platform to rest, a proposed class action lawsuit threatens to embroil Tesla in a fresh legal drama

Tesla Settles With Family of Autopilot Crash Victim

On Monday, April 7, Tesla reached a settlement agreement with the family of Wei Lun Huang, who died in a crash while using autopilot in 2018. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed and Tesla is seeking to prevent them from being made public.

By settling out of court, the automaker has avoided a potentially damaging courtroom examination of its autonomous driving software, which complainants had alleged was to blame for Huang’s death.

Factory Workers Accuse Tesla of Violating California Labor Laws

In a proposed  class action lawsuit filed last week, 2 former employees who worked at Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant accused the company of violating California labor laws.

They allege Tesla failed to pay overtime or provide paid sick leave, didn’t provide legally mandated meal and rest breaks, and didn’t reimburse employees for work-related expenses.

The lawsuit is seeking more than $5 million in damages on behalf of thousands of Tesla workers across the state.

Worse still for the company, the latest litigation isn’t the only lawsuit Tesla is facing in relation to its employment practices.

Toxic Workplace Allegations Stack up

Earlier this month, a federal judge declined to dismiss a case by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has accused Tesla of overseeing workplace discrimination and harassment of Black workers at several California locations.

The firm is also being sued by a California civil rights agency and a class of 6,000 workers over similar allegations.

In its most high-profile workplace discrimination case to date, Tesla was forced to pay around $3.2 million to Owen Diaz – a black former employee who claimed the firm failed to prevent severe racial harassment at the Fremont factory

Diaz accused Tesla of failing to act when he complained to managers that other employees used racist slurs and depicted swastikas, racist caricatures and epithets on the factory walls.

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