Tesla 2020 California crash: US NTSB closed investigation, no action

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday that it has closed its investigation into the deadly August 2020 Tesla crash in Saratoga, California, without taking any action.

The NTSB said the driver was operating a 2019 Tesla Model 3 with the Driver Assistance System Autopilot engaged but was manually depressing the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to go into override mode when it hit the rear of a minivan .

Tesla then rammed a truck at about 110 mph and caught fire, resulting in fatal injuries to the Tesla driver and his wife, who were also in the car.

Tesla had issued multiple visual and audio alerts to the 75-year-old driver after his hands were not found on the steering wheel while using Autopilot.

The Tesla was going about 68 mph behind the minivan when the driver increased the vehicle’s speed to 72 mph and the Model 3 triggered automatic emergency braking, which reduced speed.

The driver increased the pressure on the accelerator to 95 percent, rammed the minivan and then exited the highway traveling at 114 mph before hitting the pickup.

The NTSB stated that the “investigation was initiated to support the NTSB’s interest in automated vehicle demonstration” but after the investigation stated that “no further action will be taken from this memorandum.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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