] Korean singer and actor Son Ji-chang has filed a lawsuit against US electric car maker Tesla in California after his white electric SUV Model X suddenly sped up and crashed into his house.
“I decided to bring the case to court after Telsa refused to acknowledge the flaws of the car and compensate for the accident, claiming I was trying to abuse my celebrity status to get money from the firm,” Son said.
The celebrity explained that his car suddenly accelerated at full power and jerked forward as he tried to pull into his garage at his Los Angeles home on Sept.10. His son was in the car with him. “We could have both died, had the walls of our house not been made of wood,” he added.
Son is seeking a class action suit, based on other reports of similar types of accidents caused by Telsa vehicles in the US. “The Model X, a car which the company claims is the safest car on earth, is a name that I and my family will never forgive and forget,” he said.
Telsa said it would fight back, saying the accident was entirely Son’s fault.
“The evidence, including data from the car, conclusively shows that the crash was the result of Mr. Son pressing the accelerator pedal all the way to 100 percent,” said Tesla in a statement.
Several Tesla owners have come forward in 2016 with similar accidents involving “unintended acceleration.” Tesla has so far denied any technical problems.
The report also comes as South Korea is poised to make to its electric vehicle regulations more favorable for Tesla. The government currently offers as much as $18,000 in incentives to EV buyers, but the car must be able to fully recharge from a standard electrical outlet in 10 hours or fewer in order to qualify for the perk. That rule excludes buyers of Tesla‘s Model S and Model X. But the rule may be eliminated as soon as June, according to industry sources.
South Korea’s among the world’s six most valuable countries in terms of advance reservations for Tesla’s lower-priced Model 3. There are only about 4,000 electric vehicles on the nation’s roads today, but the government aims to almost triple the country’s number of fast chargers to 2,000 in 2017 in preparation for many more.
Meanwhile, Tesla is preparing to open Korea’s first Tesla showroom in the first half this year.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)