NHTSA opens two more Tesla crash investigations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched two other special investigations into accidents involving You are here electric cars, and where the company’s advanced driver assistance systems are believed to have been a factor in the accident.

Tesla now offers a standard driver assistance package called Autopilot in all its new cars. It also sells additional features in a package marketed as Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving in the US, costing $15,000 or $199 per vehicle. month. The company also allows select owners to access features that haven’t been fully debugged as part of its FSD Beta program and to test those features on public roads.

None of the company’s cars are self-driving yet, and no automaker currently sells a driverless car in the United States. , but the company never conducted that demonstration.

New crashes added to NHTSA’s investigation list this month included a Thanksgiving Day crash that trapped eight cars after a driver of a 2021 Tesla Model S veered into lanes on the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

The driver of the Model S, which is Tesla’s top-of-the-line sedan, claimed he was using the company’s full self-driving features, according to records released by the California Highway Patrol, which CNN first reported.

Another recent crash added to NHTSA’s list involved a 2020 Tesla Model 3, the company’s entry-level sedan.

According to data obtained from NHTSA by CNBC, the agency is reviewing at least 41 accidents involving Tesla vehicles involving automated features such as automatic emergency braking or more extensive driver assistance features included in Autopilot. , FSD and FSD Beta.

Records show 14 of those earlier investigations involved fatalities.

The company also faces legal action and federal and state scrutiny over its security claims and marketing practices. California’s DMV has accused Tesla of misleading its driver assistance systems.

In a recent response to a consumer lawsuit filed in California, Tesla said its “failure” to achieve its “ambitious long-term goal” did not constitute fraud and that it would only achieve self-driving “through constant and rigorous improvement.”

Tesla shares fell on Thursday after the crash investigations were announced. Investors also fear weakened demand for the company’s electric cars worldwide.

Amid tough economic conditions, Tesla recently offered deep discounts on its cars in the US, Canada, Mexico and China. Tesla shares were also weighed down by investor concerns that CEO Elon Musk is distracted and damaging the Tesla brand with his controversial handling of Twitter and inflammatory political remarks on the social media platform.

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