In a comprehensive letter sent to Tesla, the US safety regulators have asked for more specific details in order conclude its investigation on the recent crashes.
Tesla is already under investigation for several recent crashes possibly linked to failures of the automaker’s Autopilot system, with one of them having fatal consequences. In a July 8 nine-page letter sent to Tesla by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency asked for extensive information in order to give its assessment on the performance of some Autopilot features, such as automatic emergency braking system and any other forward crash mitigation or forward crash avoidance systems. NHTSA said the request was just a standard step in its inquiry, specifying though it needed some answers by July 29 and others by August 26. The safety regulator is seeking for detailed design descriptions of the semi-autonomous safety techs and of all the software updates made so far, testing results and all the data logs, reports and complaints of accidents that may be related to Autopilot.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also inquiring about the fatal accident on May 7, when a driver of a Model S was killed on a highway in Williston, Florida, after it crashed into a tractor trailer. However, two other Autopilot-linked incidents have been reported since May, with the most recent one occurring over the last weekend in Montana.
Separately, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation as well, on whether the automaker breached securities laws by not disclosing the fatal accident to investors, thus manipulating share price just before it made some major financial decisions, such as raising money for expanded production or proposing to acquire SolarCity.