Topline: A lawsuit alleges Omar Awan, 48, was killed after his Tesla Model S crashed and started a fire in February—but blames his death on the vehicle’s “inaccessible” door handles for trapping Awan inside and preventing first responders from rescuing him.
Key background: Tesla has been hit with multiple lawsuits stemming from complaints about its technology. One, filed after a May 2018 crash that killed two teenagers, alleges the car’s battery for starting a fire that resulted in one of the deaths. Other lawsuits allege Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assistance feature have also resulted in deaths. Complaints about Tesla’s batteries have led the company to issue a guide for first responders, and it advises that battery fires can take up to 24 hours to fully extinguish.