Apple is facing a potential class-action lawsuit in California for declining to deploy technology that could prevent iPhone users from texting while driving.
The complaint, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims that Apple has had the ability to block texting capabilities while someone is driving since 2008, and seeks to halt all sales of the iPhone until the tech giant installs the preventative software.
The plaintiff, Julio Ceja, was injured in a car accident by another driver who was using her iPhone. The proposed class action seeks to represent all California residents.
The lawsuit isn’t the first time Apple has faced legal trouble over texting and driving.
A product liability lawsuit filed in a Texas federal court in July 2015 claimed that Apple could have prevented a crash that killed two people and paralyzed a child if it had blocked drivers from texting. The case was recommended for dismissal in a preliminary hearing in August.
Apple’s interest in preventing drivers from using their phones on the road became public when it was granted a patent in 2014 -- first filed in 2008 -- for a technology that would “lock out” a phone if sensors detected that it was being used by a driver while in motion. The California lawsuit claims that Apple was motivated by profits from iPhone sales to not implement the patented technology.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Texting and driving has been a persisting problem in the U.S. In 2014, 2,955 fatal crashes and 3,197 fatalities were caused by distracted driving, and 13 percent of those accidents involved cell phone use, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, there were 3,477 fatalities caused by distracted driving, an increase of 8.8 percent.