Tesla Model S Crashes and Burns Taking Two Lives, NTSB Steps In
12 May, 2018, 09:04 | Author: Suzanne Horton
This time a Model S burst into flames after spinning into a wall.
After a fatal 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.
Tesla Inc's autopilot system was unlikely to have been a factor in a Florida auto crash this week which killed two teenagers, the electric carmaker said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.
The witness said he tried to help the teenagers but the fire was too intense to get them out of the vehicle. While admitting that serious high-speed collisions could result in a fire, the Tesla spokesperson defended the car's safety record, saying a gas auto in the United States is five times more likely to catch fire than a Tesla vehicle.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is investigating the accident. Police told CNBC they are not focusing on AutoPilot as a cause, but they reportedly told NBC Miami that they are investigating the battery pack to see why the vehicle caught fire so quickly. The feature caps a vehicle's speed at 5 miles per hour above the local speed limit on residential roads.
The federal agency dismissed rumors that the car's Auto Pilot may be at fault.
Earlier this month, Tesla and the NTSB got into an open feud over Tesla's release of information from the probe into the Mountain View crash.
One person died in that crash. Data indicate there are hundreds a day involving gas-powered automobiles. The company issued a recall in those cases to install barriers under the vehicle to better protect the batteries.
A Tesla dealership is seen in West Drayton, just outside London, Britain, February 7, 2018.
As usual, it's important to remind everyone that even though electric vehicle fires are heavily represented in the media, EVs don't catch on fire more often than gasoline cars. Most of those batteries are years away from commercialization, however.
A preliminary investigation shows the vehicle was not on autopilot at the time of the crash.
Similarly, the first death in an "autonomous" vehicle occurred in 2016 when a Tesla failed to recognize the white side of a commercial tractor-trailer against a bright sky and drove underneath it, sheering the roof off and killing 40-year-old Joshua Brown. The incident sparked questions about the safety of the Autopilot mode.
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