The electric car maker is facing another inquiry over the fatal crash that may be linked to an Autopilot failure, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission stepping in this time.
Tesla is already under probe from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after a driver of a Model S, cruising with the Autopilot semi-autonomous tech engaged, was killed in an accident on May 7 in Florida. But the Securities and Exchange Commission is focusing on whether the automaker breached securities laws by not disclosing to investors the fatal accident, thus influencing their actions, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an insider. In a recent blog post, Tesla said it informed NHTSA about the accident on May 16th, when it had just begun investigating the accident, also pointing out that the Autopilot had been safely used in over 100 million miles of driving, by tens of thousands of customers worldwide, with zero confirmed fatalities.
“On the day the news broke about NHTSA’s decision to initiate a preliminary evaluation into the incident, Tesla’s stock traded up, not down, confirming that not only did our investors know better, but that our own internal assessment of the performance and risk profile of Autopilot were in line with market expectations,” the company stated last week.
Since the deadly crash, the Autopilot system has started to raise some safety concerns among the industry, especially considering that it was not a singular event linked to a possible failure of the tech. Following the May tragic event, there have been two more accidents involving Model X SUVs, while driving with the Autopilot activated.