File photo used for representational purpose. (AP)
File photo used for representational purpose. (AP)

Is Tesla's Autopilot feature to blame for recent spate of crashes?

  • As many as 13 probes have been started in the US into accidents involving Tesla cars that make use of the company's company’s automated driver-assist features.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will open an inquiry into a collision on Sunday near Los Angeles involving a 2019 Tesla Inc. Model S that collided with another vehicle, the agency said late Tuesday.

Two people died and two others were injured when a Tesla exited a freeway, ran a red light and slammed into a Honda Civic, an NBC News affiliate in Los Angeles reported on Sunday, citing law enforcement. A NHTSA spokesman confirmed the agency was investigating the crash.

The inquiry, a crash scene and vehicle inspection, is the latest by the NHTSA’s Special Crash Investigations unit involving a Tesla vehicle. It has has begun 13 probes into Tesla vehicle crashes believed to involve the use of the company’s automated driver-assist features marketed as Autpilot.

A NHTSA spokesman declined to comment on whether Autopilot was a factor in the Sunday crash in Gardena, California.

The NHTSA earlier in December said investigators would look into a Connecticut crash in which a Tesla rear-ended a parked police cruiser while the vehicle was operating on Autopilot.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at, John Harney

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