US safety board probing Texas Tesla crash; to release report within a month

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The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigation the fatal Tesla Model S crash that took place recently in the US’ Texas. The safety board will publish the preliminary report of the investigation within a month.

The safety board is trying to release the report as soon as possible so as to mitigate the public confusion over the incident. “A preliminary report typically comes out in a month, but we are working hard to get it out as soon as possible because we recognize there is this confusion out there,” Kristin Poland, Deputy Director of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told Reuters.

Referring to the confusion over the situation, Poland added, “We recognize that that’s not an ideal circumstance. The sooner we can get the preliminary report out the better it will be for everybody to provide as much clarity as possible.”

Earlier this month, the Tesla Model S smashed into a tree in Texas and burst into flames, killing two passengers inside. One of the occupants was found in the front passenger seat while the other was seated in the rear. The local police said that apparently no one was in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.

However, Tesla has come up with its own report regarding the accident and claims that someone was driving the electric sedan at the time of the accident. Refuting the police’s claim, it said that a deformed steering wheel suggested that someone was likely in the driver’s seat. The carmaker also indicated that the vehicle was not operating on Autopilot at the time of the crash. “It was claimed to be autopilot, but this is completely false,” CEO Elon Musk said.

The NTSB criticized Tesla’s Autopilot after a series of investigations into fatal crashes that took place in its vehicles equipped with driver monitoring systems.

(with inputs from agencies)