Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

NTSB To Investigate Fiery Crash Of Tesla In Ft. Lauderdale

NTSB To Investigate Fiery Crash Of Tesla In Ft. Lauderdale

Last year, the agency investigated a Tesla Model S that killed a former Navy SEAL after he had crashed the Autopilot-enabled vehicle into a semitrailer truck. Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control that has come under scrutiny after two crashes this year, was not engaged when the Model S auto drove off the road and hit a concrete wall, catching fire, the company said, adding it had not yet seen logs from the crash. Two vehicle occupants died and one was injured in the crash.

The driver and front seat passenger were pronounced deceased at the crash scene, while the backseat passenger was ejected and transported to a nearby hospital.

The NTSB, which has a history of investigating emerging technology, said its investigation is focused on the car's electric battery. Two weeks later, in an effort to avoid further fires, the NTSB and Tesla performed a battery draw down to fully de-energize it, Diaz wrote in the memo. The police believe that the speed at which the vehicle was traveling played a factor in the crash, but could not identify the source of the fire.

"We have not yet been able to learn the vehicle identification number, which has prevented us from determining whether there is any log data", Tesla said in a statement.

After afatal Model X accidentin March that involved the vehicle's battery catching fire, Tesla said the batteries in its vehicles are created to decrease the rate at which a fire can spread. The incident sparked questions about the safety of the Autopilot mode.

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"The goal of these investigations is to understand the impact of these emerging transportation technologies when they are part of a transportation accident", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement.

It has emerged that the battery pack of a Tesla Model X involved in a fatal crash in March reignited six days after being extinguished. Tesla said a few days later the vehicle had been in autonomous mode when it crashed.

This NTSB investigation primarily focus on emergency response in relation to the electric vehicle battery fire, including fire department activities and towing operations.

This is the second time in the past two months the NTSB has investigated a Tesla fire. Tesla accused the NTSB of violating its own rules, while trying to prevent the automaker from releasing all available information.

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