The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed early this week that it's opening up an investigation into a California crash that involved a 2018 Tesla Model 3. The electric car's advanced driver-assist systems may have been engaged at the time of the accident.
The NHTSA regularly opens over 100 such probes per year. They're typically related to new technology and other safety concerns that could be caused by car updates, etc. This helps the organization not only keep up to date with the new technology, but also improve its ability to create rules surrounding it.
The NHTSA has opened many Tesla crash probes over the years, and several quite recently. According to Automotive News, the organization has opened over three dozen since 2016 alone. The probes all involve a suspicion of Tesla's Autopilot and related safety systems involvement. Some 20 death have been reported from the crashes.
Tesla is currently probing a few other related accidents involving a Model S, a fire truck, and two others from December. All of the investigations dive into whether or not Autopilot, Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta or any related advanced driver-assist systems were engaged. If it's proven that they were, then there will have to be proof of fault, which is where this all gets really tricky.
The NHTSA upgraded a June engineering analysis of 830,000 EVs to an official probe to demand a recall. The probe is looking into the large number of Tesla vehicles and their Autopilot system. The question is whether the safety technology impacted crashes with parked emergency vehicles including, including fire trucks.
As always, we encourage you to head down to our popular comment section and start a conversation. Do you agree with the NHTSA? Are you on board with how the organization is handling Tesla's advanced drive-assist systems? Leave us your thoughts and words of wisdom in the comment section below.