Tesla booted off fatal Model X crash investigation

Tesla booted off fatal Model X crash investigation

Andrew Cummings
April 13, 2018

Federal investigators say they have booted electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. from a group that's investigating a fatal crash in California that involved an SUV using the company's Autopilot system.

Tesla stock has also been hurt by investor reaction to a fatal Autopilot crash in California that killed the driver of a Model X. The company was removed from the investigation by the National Transportation Board after a dispute involving when to make information about the accident public.

But in a statement, Tesla said it withdrew from the panel, adding: "We believe in transparency, so an agreement that prevents public release of information for over a year is unacceptable".

"As a reality check, Tesla is worth twice as much as Ford [estimate of the enterprise value of both companies], yet Ford made six million cars previous year at a $7.6 billion profit, while Tesla made 100,000 cars at a $2 billion loss", Vilas Capital Management head John Thompson told Market Watch in March, adding that Tesla is months away from collapse. This reminder is made every single time Autopilot is engaged.

Then Tesla - a company led by a man who closely monitors the media and his public image - asserted that the safety board was "more concerned with press headlines than actually promoting safety".

Tesla in return blasted the NTSB, saying the company chose on Tuesday to withdraw from the agreement as a formal party before the agency revoked its status. Companies and other organizations can become parties in a probe because they can give technical help and share sensitive information. Zacks Investment Research's earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that follow Tesla.

That included news that the company was facing a probe by the National Labor Relations Board accusing it of improperly dismissing nearly 1,000 factory workers, allegedly due to support for a union at Tesla's Fremont, California plant.

However, a statement on the Tesla website says that "logs from the computer inside the vehicle" indicate that Huang had "received several visual and one audible hands-on warning" immediately before the crash. The company said the crash was worsened by a missing or damaged safety shield on the end of the lane divider.

It's been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing almost 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

Current and former Tesla engineers have confirmed that he company is "struggling" amidst a "significant volume of flawed or damaged parts from its suppliers", CNBC reports.

NTSB noted that its investigations generally take 12 to 24 months to complete. "If anything, the NTSB is shining a spotlight on Tesla due to their innovation", Friedman said. "It is not a self-driving system". "You know. Terrible", he said. The driver died after crashing into a highway barrier.

At one point during the interview, Musk did not have his hands on the wheel and the vehicle beeped at him to retake the wheel.

Tesla lashed out at the NTSB and said it planned to complain to Congress. Investors were watching for developments in the U.S.

Other reports by iNewsToday