Tesla, NTSB clash over fatal auto crash probe


Deutsche Bank AG restated a "hold" rating and set a $215.00 price target (down previously from $290.00) on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Tuesday, December 13th.

"This appears to reference a statement Tesla gave to a local Bay Area news outlet in which the company blamed the driver in the fatal accident, Walter Huang, for the crash: ".the only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road". Tesla said "Autopilot requires the driver to be alert and have hands on the wheel".

The agreement was in effect for the agency's investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla on Autopilot in California last month.

Other Tesla vehicles have caught fire either as part of a collision or some other stress on the battery compartment.

"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", Sumwalt said. 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.

April 12: NTSB posts a statement saying it has revoked Tesla as a party to the investigation and says it shared its plans with the automaker the night before. The sources said a second facility would need to be built to accommodate the estimated figures, unless the Model Y is made in low volumes alongside the Model 3.

Huang died March 23 while driving Tesla's Model X on a highway near Mountain View, Calif., a city in the tech hub of Silicon Valley. The company isn't technically wrong here; Autopilot does indeed rattle off both audio and visual notifications when a driver removes their hands from the wheel.

March 27: NTSB says it would investigate the crash.

Under this rule, parties must sign an agreement that explicitly prohibits them from releasing investigative information to the media or to comment or analyze investigative findings without prior consultation with the NTSB.

The National Transportation Safety Board has booted Tesla as a party in its investigation of a deadly crash involving one of its vehicles in Mountain View last month.

Under a such an agreement, called a party agreement, an automaker pledges to freely provide information and assistance in an investigation and, in turn, the NTSB promises to keep the company informed of the investigation's progress and findings.

NTSB investigations are comprehensive, independent, and thorough. "It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists". This reminder is made every single time Autopilot is engaged.

Tesla also noted that the crash was so severe because the crash attenuator - the safety barrier on the highway that is created to reduce impact - was damaged from a previous accident and hadn't been replaced yet.

"Just because a driver does something stupid doesn't mean they - or others who are truly blameless - should be condemned to an otherwise preventable death", said Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina's School of Law, who studies driverless-car regulations.

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

When first announcing its investigation, the NTSB said it couldn't confirm whether or not Tesla's Autopilot was activated during the crash, but it was also looking into other circumstances around the accident, like the subsequent battery fire.