NHTSA initiates special investigation into fatal Tesla Model Y crash

Credit: Tesla

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a special investigation into a incident involving a Tesla Model Y colliding with a heavy truck, resulting in the death of the Tesla driver.

The accident occurred on July 19 in Warrenton, Virginia, when the Model Y struck a tractor-trailer truck attempting to turn onto a highway from a truck stop. The impact caused the vehicle to go underneath the trailer, leading to the driver’s unfortunate death. The driver of the truck was issued a summons for reckless driving. (via Reuters)

The NHTSA is looking into the accident to determine whether the Model Y was utilizing its Autopilot advanced driver assistance system at the time of the crash. This is part of a series of special crash investigations conducted by the NHTSA, involving Tesla vehicles and incidents where driver-assistance systems, such as Autopilot, were suspected to have been engaged.

This specific investigation marks one of more than three dozen such cases that have been opened by the NHTSA since 2016, with a total of 23 reported fatalities in these incidents.

In June, the NHTSA escalated its defect probe into around 830,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot, specifically looking at incidents involving collisions with parked emergency vehicles, including fire trucks. The investigation aims to comprehensively assess the safety and reliability of Autopilot and similar systems in various driving conditions.

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