Woman Sues Tesla After Toddler Starts Car, Runs Her Over While Pregnant

Uno Reverse

A woman is suing Tesla after her toddler ran her over in her Model X back in 2018 — while she was eight and a half months pregnant with her second child.

According to court filings, Mallory Harcourt's son, who was just two years old at the time, was able to start the car and hit her at her home in Santa Barbara after "escaping" from her side while she tried to change his diaper, the Miami Herald reports.

The toddler reportedly touched the brake pedal in the footwell, causing the vehicle to start and the driver's side door to automatically close.

Her son "reached up and touched the gear shift lever on the stalk of the steering wheel, which shifted the car out of park and into drive," the filing reads. "[He] then contacted the accelerator pedal, which caused the car to begin moving forward."

Drive By

The collision was reportedly severe enough to break bones. Fortunately, Harcourt was quickly whisked off to a nearby hospital and eventually gave birth to her daughter just a week later. The week at the hospital, however, resulted in over $73,000 in medical expenses, Harcourt's attorneys say.

Harcourt is accusing Tesla of manufacturing a "defective" vehicle, despite advertising the Model X as the "safest SUV on the market." Her attorneys claim the EV maker is at fault for the collision "due to the Tesla's unsafe design."

Meanwhile, Tesla has shot back, arguing that the unfortunate event was a "result of Ms. Harcourt’s own negligence in leaving her son unattended," according to a statement reviewed by the Miami Herald.

The news comes just days after Tesla settled with a family who sued the company over the death of Walter Huang, an Apple engineer and father of two who died after his Model X SUV crashed into a highway barrier in 2018 while the vehicle's Autopilot feature was turned on.

This particular case, however, feels a little different as the carmaker's controversial driver assistance feature seemingly wasn't involved.

It's now up to a jury in California's Superior Court to decide whether Tesla's vehicle design is to blame for allowing a toddler to run over his own mother.

More on Tesla: The Cybertruck's Battery Pack Is Half Empty, a Teardown Found