In an apparent attempt to avoid public scrutiny, Tesla has settled with a family who sued the company over the death of Walter Huang, an Apple engineer and father of two.

Huang died after his Model X SUV crashed into a highway barrier in 2018 while the vehicle's Autopilot feature was turned on.

As CNBC reports, the company settled right around the time that jury selection was kicking off in a California Superior court on Monday.

Strikingly, Tesla filed to hide how much the company paid the Huang family as part of the settlement to stop "other potential claimants" from perceiving "the settlement amount as evidence of Tesla’s potential liability for losses."

The National Transportation Safety Board had already found that Tesla's Autopilot feature was at least partially to blame for Huang's death, in addition to possible driver distraction and road construction. The agency also found that Huang was likely looking at a game on his phone before colliding with the highway barrier.

In court filings, Huang's attorneys charge that Tesla was misleading the public with its marketing. The company has already landed in hot water over the name of its so-called "Full Self-Driving" feature, a $15,000 add-on that enhances the company's Autopilot suite — but which doesn't allow Teslas to fully drive themselves.

The lawsuit also singled out internal emails, per CNBC, in which Tesla execs and engineers recalled becoming complacent while using Autopilot, even reading emails and using their phones while driving.

Meanwhile, Tesla accused Huang of being inattentive and playing games on his phone right before crashing.

Huang's death is only one of many deaths involving the company's driver-assist feature. According to a damning Washington Post report last year, there were far more crashes involving Teslas in Autopilot mode than previously reported, including at least 736 crashes in the US that involved the EV maker's controversial driver assistance feature since 2019, at least 17 of which were fatal.

Earlier this year, news emerged that a Tesla employee — and "devoted" fan of its CEO Elon Musk — Hans von Ohain was killed after his Model 3 crashed into a tree and erupted in flames back in 2022. According to his friend and fellow passenger Erik Rossiter, the vehicle's Full Self-Driving feature was turned on at the time of the accident.

A July incident that led to the death of a teenager and a baby also reportedly involved Autopilot, triggering a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Meanwhile, Musk has repeatedly argued that Autopilot and Full Self-Driving are inextricably linked to the company's financial future. Earlier this month, he mandated that all Tesla salespeople install and demo the beta to new buyers.

But even the mercurial CEO himself has experienced the terror of Tesla's driver assist feature going off the rails.

According to Walter Isaacson's 2023 biography of the tech magnate, Musk had a tendency to "furiously" storm into the Tesla office to chew out his engineers after the company's self-driving tech behaved dangerously while he was driving.

In one case, the car was having trouble identifying faded line lanes. His solution? Getting the lane lines repainted — which, of course, doesn't address the underlying problem.

"After that, Musk's Autopilot handled the curve well," Isaacson wrote.

More on Autopilot: Elon Musk Is Still Trying to Get Other Carmakers to License "Full Self-Driving," But Not a Single One Has Taken Him Up On It

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