US Senate summons Elon Musk over fatal crash image

In a letter sent to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, the US federal government asked him to come for a brief over the May 7 fatal crash.

Tesla is already under investigation by US NHTSA and Securities and Exchange Commission following the recent series of crashes linked to the automaker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system, including a fatal one in Florida on May 7. Last week, Senator John Thune – the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – asked Elon Musk to brief the committee by July 29 on the accidents, as he “seeks to determine whether the technology performed as intended and Tesla’s actions to educate consumers on the benefits and limitations of the technology.” Thune said he was most interested on finding out if Tesla made all the efforts to ensure the Autopilot technology was safely deployed.

The scrutiny on Tesla is increasing, as this request came right after the influential Consumer Reports magazine pointing fingers towards the electric carmaker for its marketing campaign over Autopilot, urging the company to disable it and to rename it.

Elon Musk has fiercely defended the semi-autonomous technology and in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said the Autopilot would stick on Tesla’s cars, but the company would step up its efforts to educate owners on how the system worked and on how to properly use it.