Two new fatal crashes involving Tesla Model 3 cars come to light
Tesla has reported two new fatal crashes involving its Model 3 electric vehicles that had the drive assistance systems in use. The automaker informed the US auto safety agency about the crashes that took place in the month ending October 15, as per data released by the US government. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in June, began releasing data provided by automakers on reports of crashes tied to driver assistance systems like Tesla's Autopilot.
NHTSA has reviewed these crashes and is conducting appropriate follow-up by using many data sources in its enforcement processes. In June last year, the NHTSA had issued an order requiring automakers and tech companies to immediately report all crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and vehicles equipped with automated driving systems tested on public roads. The safety regulator said that it uses data submitted by automakers under its 2021 order as part of its investigations.
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In July of 2021, out of the 18 fatal crashes reported to NHTSA, that had to do with driver assistance systems, nearly all involved Tesla vehicles. The safety agency emphasized that all these crashes are tracked by individual automakers in different ways. It further discouraged then from comparisons of performance among automakers partly due to lack of comprehensive metrics to track how widely each system is used or how crashes are reported.
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In a separate investigation opened by the NHTSA, since 2016, NHTSA has opened 38 special investigations of crashes involving Tesla vehicles where advanced driver assistance systems such as Autopilot were suspected of being used. Overall, 19 crash fatalities have been reported in those Tesla-related investigations.
While this is one crisis that Tesla is going through, another worry for the automaker is the ‘nano-managing’ technique of CEO Elon Musk. Tesla investors have often alleged that Elon Musk pays attention to too many things simultaneously, jeopardizing the automaker's future and market valuation.