They both died on the scene.
Grand Deathed Auto
A man in Los Angeles has been ordered to pay more than $23,000 in restitution after killing two people with his Tesla back in 2019 while using Autopilot.
As Fortune reports, it's possibly the first time US prosecutors have brought felony charges against a motorist who was using driver assistance software.
It's also one of over a dozen deadly collisions currently being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which culminated in the recall of more than 2 million Tesla vehicles last week.
The latest court case could set a precedent for the future use of driver assistance software like Autopilot — especially because $23,000 is an arguably pitifully small price to pay given the well-documented dangers of Tesla's driver-assistance software.
LA-based Tesla driver Kevin Aziz Riad pleaded not guilty last year to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. He was initially facing seven years in prison.
His vehicle, which had its Autopilot feature turned on at the time of the accident, struck a Honda Civic on December 29, 2019 while driving 74 mph. The Civic's two occupants died at the scene.
Aziz Riad is still facing two civil lawsuits filed against him by the families of the deceased, as Fortune reports.
Last week's recall, which was addressed through an over-the-air software update, was the result of the NHTSA deeming Tesla's Autosteer feature to be too easily misused.
"The remedy will incorporate additional controls and alerts to those already existing on affected vehicles to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged," the regulator's recall notice reads, "which includes keeping their hands on the steering wheel and paying attention to the roadway."
The recall may have come just under four years too late in the case of Aziz Riad.
"The recently announced recall, if it limits the use of Autopilot to controlled access highways, would likely have prevented this tragic incident," lawyer Donald Slavik, who is representing one of the victim's families, told Fortune.
More on Autopilot: Feds Blast Tesla for Massive Autopilot Issue in 2 Million Cars
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