The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed that both the driver and passenger seats of a Tesla Model S were occupied during a serious crash earlier this year in Houston, Texas.
The confirmation directly contradicts statements made by authorities that they were “100% certain” no one was behind the wheel at the time of crash.
According to the NTSB findings, a review of vehicle data showed that “both the driver and passenger seats were occupied, and that the seat belts were buckled when the (event data recorder) recorded the crash.” (via Reuters)
Additionally the NTSB found that the driver was applying the accelerator “as high as 98.8%” leading up to the crash.
The statements by the NTSB validates what Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have been saying since the crash first made national and international headlines.
A few days after the crash occurred on April 17, Musk said initial data logs retrieved from the car showed Autopilot was not active at the time.
The NTSB also validated another claim made by Tesla – that the steering wheel was deformed indicating with a high likelihood that someone was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.