Tesla Crash Believed to Be Driverless Draws Investigation -- Update
By Rebecca Elliott
U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating a fatal weekend
crash involving a Tesla Inc. vehicle, adding to a series of probes
into incidents involving the electric-vehicle maker.
Local authorities believe the Tesla Model S was operating
without anyone in the driver's seat when it crashed into a tree
Saturday night north of Houston, killing two men.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had
launched a team to investigate the crash.
"We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to
learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate
steps when we have more information," NHTSA said in a
Authorities on Sunday were still investigating whether the
vehicle's advanced driver-assistance system, known as Autopilot,
was engaged at the time of the crash.
Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The
company has previously said that Autopilot made Tesla vehicles
safer than others.
Tesla tells drivers using the feature to pay attention to the
road and be prepared to take control of the vehicle.
NHTSA has launched more than two dozen investigations into
crashes involving Tesla vehicles, several of them in recent
Mark Herman, the Harris County constable over Precinct 4, where
the accident happened, has said he believes no one was behind the
wheel at the time of the crash. One of the men who died in the
accident was found in the front passenger's seat and the other was
in the back seat, he said.
Mr. Herman added that he didn't believe a driver could have
moved into the front passenger's seat or back seat after the crash
to try to escape the vehicle. He said the two individuals in the
car were aged 69 years and 59 years.
"Never say never, but I can tell you that's not the direction
our investigation is going," he said.
Mr. Herman added that his staff had been in touch with NHTSA and
the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash.
Write to Rebecca Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2021 12:39 ET (16:39 GMT)
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