Since its surprise debut, Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast has been under a great deal of scrutiny. Early reviews of the VF8 electric SUV have been extremely critical of its build quality and software issues. But now, VinFast is under a bigger microscope than ever following a tragic fatal crash that killed a family of four in Pleasanton, California.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now investigating a crash involving the VF8 after an owner loaned his car to a coworker who died in a fiery wreck along with his wife and two children. TechCrunch reported the news of the NHTSA probe first.

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VinFast gets off to a rough start in the U.S.

Vietnamese automaker VinFast currently sells the VF8 electric SUV in the U.S. It also plans to sell the smaller VF6 and VF7 and the larger VF9 models in the future. But the VF8 has been marred with quality issues and now is at the center of a big federal investigation involving a crash that killed four of a family.

The complaint outlines that the owner experienced a situation where his EV automatically steered right while driving at an unknown speed. He added that this failure reoccurred when the lane assist feature was turned on, but he was able to regain control.

The VF8 owner later loaned his car to a coworker, as per the complaint filed with the NHTSA. But for unknown reasons, the EV rammed into a pole, went airborne, and crashed into a tree. It engulfed into flames, killing all onboard. 

The crash occurred around 9 p.m. on April 24 on Foothill Road in Pleasanton when the family was returning home from a friend’s house, according to local news stations. They reported that the crash occurred at a section where the road merges from two lanes into one. Residents nearby said the road is poorly lit and dangerous.

Pleasanton Police told local news outlet Pleasanton Weekly that the crash was still under investigation and that speeding could have been a factor in claiming the lives of the occupants. “That vehicle … there’s not much left of it,” an officer said.

The 2023 Vinfast VF8 is at the core of 11 complaints filed with NHTSA. Complainants have stated that the forward collision avoidance and lane-keeping sensors malfunction under various circumstances.

At least one other officially registered complaint states that VF8, with adaptive cruise control engaged, drove into traffic cones at night when the freeway was reduced to two lanes.

If you have any information about this crash, the VinFast VF8 or have experienced similar issues, please contact the author:

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