Billionaire died inside Tesla Model X – who's to blame?

Tesla, which produces the most famous electric cars, is faced with a problem again. In February 2024, it became known about the death of one of the most influential women in the world, billionaire Angela Chao. For a month, the family did not disclose details about her death, citing the ongoing investigation. In March, the cause was revealed, and it turned out that the woman drowned in her own pond while inside a locked Tesla Model X. She was rescued with the help of rescuers, but it was too late – she was under water for too long and could not be revived. It is believed she misused the touch screen and caused the car to move backwards instead of forwards.

A billionaire died inside a Tesla Model X - who is to blame? The death of a famous billionaire is associated with a Tesla Model X. Photo.

The death of a famous billionaire is associated with a Tesla Model X

The death of Angela Chao

Angela Chao was one of the most famous and influential women in the United States. She was the CEO of Foremost Group, which plays an important role in the field of cargo transportation by ships. She was also the sister of former US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

Death of Angela Chao. Billionaire Angela Chao. Photo.

Billionaire Angela Chao

The accident that cost Angela Chao her life occurred on February 10, 2024. According to information obtained by journalists from the Wall Street Journal, on the eve of this day, the 50-year-old billionaire invited her friends to her ranch in Texas. They celebrated Chinese New Year and the woman left her friends at the guest house. She herself hurried to her house, because her 3-year-old son was waiting for her there. To save time, she decided to go by Tesla Model X – the journey would have taken only 4 hours.

There were no signs of trouble, but a few minutes after leaving, she called her friends in a panic. She screamed that she accidentally backed up, the car overturned and began to sink into the pond.

Angela Chao's death. The Tesla Model X has falcon-wing doors. Photo.

Tesla Model X has falcon-wing doors

The woman’s friends immediately called rescuers. However, due to the terrain, they had to walk to the pond. After that, they encountered another problem – neither the escape hatch nor the doors opened to rescue the woman from the trap. Rescuers also had concerns about being electrocuted as they were dealing with an electric car in the water. However, electric cars are designed so that they do not pose such a threat even under water. Subsequently, Angela Chao's body was pulled ashore, but she was already dead.

Read also:What is the main danger of Tesla autopilot, which can lead to casualties?

Danger of Tesla cars

Experts have already studied the circumstances of Angela Chao's death. According to them, she only had about a minute to get out of the sinking car. She could have been saved by pressing the button to lower the window, but this short moment was missed. After this, there was still hope that the woman would be able to break the window. However, in the Tesla Model X and other cars, it consists of several tempered glasses. The emergency door opening system did not work because there was an expected failure in the electronics.

Danger of Tesla cars. Tesla cars have tempered glass consisting of several layers. Photo.

Tesla cars have tempered glass consisting of several layers

It is believed that Angela Chao accidentally swiped the car's touchscreen in the wrong direction, causing it to move backwards. Therefore, some people on social networks blame the touch control of the Tesla Model X for the accident. Users also criticize the car’s complex emergency door opening system. But the millionaire's widower Jim Breuer does not blame Tesla and has long considered Elon Musk his friend. According to him, his wife loved cars of this brand because they do not harm the environment.

No one knows who is to blame for what happened. Perhaps Tesla really should once again think about the safety of its cars. Most of all, it seems that there is no one to blame in the situation, and it is just an accident.

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Tesla's reaction to the accident

Tesla did not give any comments about what happened – at least, we could not find them. Perhaps this incident will force engineers to work on emergency door opening. Previously, people have already died while driving Tesla cars – the autopilot was to blame for one of the deaths. And these cases became the cause of big scandals.

Tesla reaction to an accident. Tesla cars get into accidents, but not more often than others. Photo.

Tesla cars get into accidents, but not more often than others

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Tesla has had a lot of problems lately. In December 2023, people who had already placed orders for the Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup truck began receiving their cars. People had questions about the appearance of this SUV even at the time of its announcement in 2019. Not only does it look like a rough-hewn piece of metal, but a month after receiving it, the car began to rust in the owners' garage. You can read more about this unpleasant situation in our article “The expensive Tesla Cybertruck pickup rusts in two months – another failure of Elon Musk?”