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A recent Tesla crash is once again calling the safety of its electric cars into question. Tesla is often regarded for leading the way in the automotive industry’s transition from internal combustion to electric-powered cars. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk makes headlines every other week for taking risky actions to propel his company forward and keep it in the news. Musk’s “rockstar” ways and Tesla’s cutting-edge vehicles have earned the brand millions of ardent fans.

However, Tesla is not without its share of serious controversy. In recent years, it is Tesla’s “Autopilot” system that has been a main target of criticism. Many have argued that despite Tesla positioning Autopilot as full-fledged autonomous driving, it falls well short of that. Furthermore, there have been several accidents involving Teslas in which Autopilot has been investigated as a possible cause.

There have been several instances of Tesla drivers being caught literally asleep at the wheel or with their attention completely focused on something else because they were relying on Autopilot.

Elon Musk has defended Tesla and ensured that Autopilot is safe and is designed to not be abused by users but some are skeptical. Now, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is getting involved after a recent accident in Florida.

NTSB to investigate Tesla crash in Florida

According to a Reuters report, on Friday, September 17th, 2021 the NTSB announced that they will be investigating a Tesla crash that occurred in Coral Gables, Florida. The crash resulted in the deaths of two people.

According to the report, the specific vehicle involved in the crash is a Tesla Model 3. The Tesla Model 3 struck a tree before the car became engulfed in flames. Due to the fire, the two passengers that were killed were so badly burned that they have yet to be positively identified.

While it has not been confirmed by Coral Gables police or the NTSB, the Reuters report stated that Tesla’s large battery packs have sometimes been involved in “lengthy fires” after a Tesla crash.

The NTSB said that their investigation of this crash will primarily focus on the operation of the Tesla Model 3 and the fire that “consumed” the vehicle after it struck the tree. The NTSB has tasked three investigators to look into the tesla crash and has said that they will arrive in the area by Monday, September 20th.

Did Tesla Autopilot cause the crash?

A Tesla crash in Florida involved a Model 3 similar to the one pictured here.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla Motors

Coral Gables Police have stated that it is unclear if Autopilot was active during the Tesla crash. However, it is possible more information will come to light after the NTSB’s investigation.

In addition to this incident, the NTSB is also investigating a Tesla crash that occurred in Texas back in April that killed two people. Local police from that incident have stated that they suspect there was no one in the driver’s seat in that Tesla crash which seems to implicate the Autopilot system as the cause of the incident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that they are gathering information about the Coral Gables Tesla crash, but they have not confirmed if they will be sending an investigation team as well.

According to the Reuters report, Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Tesla Autopilot Software to Be Investigated by NHTSA