Following two fatal accidents involving Teslas, the NHTSA, the American federal agency in charge of road safety, has decided to open a special investigation into the recent events. The question is in particular whether the Autopilot was activated during these two incidents.
The NHTSA, the American federal agency in charge of road safety, comes to open a special investigation following two fatal accidents involving Tesla. The first took place in California, where the driver of a Tesla killed a pedestrian. The second took place in Florida, where a Tesla hit the back of a semi-trailer parked on a highway rest area. Both Tesla passengers died instantly.
Regarding this latest case, the Florida Highway Patrol told Fox 35 that the vehicle rammed the truck to “unknown reasons”. The police agency spokesman said it was not yet known if Autopilot was on at the time of the crash. The NHTSA has also opened this investigation to determine the possible responsibility of Tesla’s technology in these incidents.
“In their investigation of this incident, our investigators will be gathering as much information and data as possible, which is standard operating procedure. Finally, they will contact the manufacturer in case of additional information would be necessary”, assured Lieutenant PC Riordan of the Florida Highway Patrol in an email addressed to our colleagues from The Verge.
Also read: Tesla – Autopilot is again accused of causing the death of 3 people in the crash of a Model S
Autopilot already at the center of several official investigations
As a reminder, the NHTSA is already investigating 16 accidents involving collisions between Teslas and stationary emergency vehicles. In each of these incidents, the Autopilot was activated. This investigation has also moved to the “technical analysis”which is the 2nd and final phase of an investigation before a possible recall.
From July 20, 2021 to May 21, 2022, NHTSA has documented 273 crashes involving Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot. Accidents involving vehicles from the American brand account for the bulk of the 392 crashes reported during this same period. As a reminder, the German authorities also opened an investigation into the Autopilot in February 2022. These investigations mainly relate to the lane change function.
Source: The Verge