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PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 29: Tesla Model S head light of a red electric car in Paris, France. Tesla is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars

Tesla says inattentive driver to blame for fatal Model X crash

San Francisco – Tesla again placed blame for a fatal crash involving a Model X last month on the driver, hours after the man’s family hired a firm to explore legal options.

The March 23 crash involving Walter Huang, 38, happened on a clear day with several hundred feet of visibility ahead, the electric-car maker said in an emailed statement.

“The only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road, despite the car providing multiple warnings to do so,” the company said. “The fundamental premise of both moral and legal liability is a broken promise, and there was none here. Tesla is extremely clear that Autopilot requires the driver to be alert and have hands on the wheel. This reminder is made every single time Autopilot is engaged.”

The statement is Tesla’s third since the incident. In a March 31 blog post, the company said computer logs recovered from Huang’s Model X showed he didn’t have his hands on the steering wheel for six seconds before the vehicle collided with a highway barrier in Mountain View, California, and caught fire.

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