Tesla Withdraws from NTSB Party Agreement Following Fatal Model X Crash

Above Tesla Showroom Chiswick London

Above Tesla Showroom Chiswick London

Additionally, it is investigating an incident earlier this year in which a driver who says his Tesla was on Autopilot rear-ended a fire engine.

The two organizations share the view of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has urged carmakers to do more to ensure drivers using partially autonomous systems like Autopilot remain engaged with the task of driving.

Tesla's system does give warnings to remind drivers to keep hands on the wheel when Autopilot is activated.

"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a written statement. 'They're claiming that the only way for this accident to have occurred is for Mr Huang to be not paying attention. Tesla enthusiasts are disappointed that the company has fallen behind on production goals but Tesla CEO Elon Musk assured the public on CBS Thursday morning: "You will definitely get your auto", he said. But it's also fair to say that Tesla's Autopilot system isn't ideal, and could be made even safer. "The firm's preliminary review has uncovered complaints by other Tesla drivers of navigational errors by the Autopilot feature, and other lawsuits have also made this complaint", Minami Tamaki said in a strongly-worded statement. It pointed to US government data indicating that Tesla's Autosteer system, which is part of Autopilot, reduced crash rates by as much as 40% compared to vehicles without it. However, not all drivers heed those warnings, and Tesla has been criticized for failing to protect against misuse of the system.

Tesla Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 production "Hell" delays are now being dubbed a "time shift", by its CEO, Elon Musk.

Electronic vehicle maker says autonomous auto pilot system was working fine and driver Walter Huang should have been paying attention. That agency is also conducting an investigation of the March 23 accident.


"We empathize with Mr. Huang's family, who are understandably facing loss and grief, but the false impression that Autopilot is unsafe will cause harm to others on the road", Tesla said in Wednesday's statement.

"Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash", the agency points out, "which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public". In a statement given to SlashGear, a spokesperson from the automaker accused the agency of being "more concerned with press headlines than actually promoting safety" and of being selective in what information it releases publicly.

This is not the first time that the NTSB has removed a party from an investigation.

As it is the manufacturer of the vehicle involved in the Mountain View crash, the NTSB expects Tesla's future cooperation with data requests. "It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists". Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system was engaged at the time.

Tesla, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and energy storage products in the United States, China, Norway, and internationally.

NTSB said its "thorough" investigations "generally" take 12 to 24 months and that Tesla was still in party agreements with the agency for investigations into two previous accidents: one involving a Model X in August 2017 in Lake Forest, California, and one with a Model S in January 2018 near Culver City, California.

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