Auto Safety Agency expands Tesla investigation


The federal government’s top auto safety agency is significantly expanding an investigation into Tesla and its Autopilot driver assistance system to determine whether the technology poses a safety risk.

The agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said Thursday it is upgrading its preliminary autopilot rating to a technical analysis, a more intensive scrutiny required before a recall can be ordered.

The analysis will examine whether Autopilot does not prevent drivers from taking their attention off the road and engaging in other predictable and risky behaviors while using the system.

NHTSA said it hasn’t determined whether the autopilot has deficiencies that could cause cars to crash while it’s on.

The broader survey covers 830,000 vehicles sold in the United States. That includes all four Tesla cars — the Model S, X, 3, and Y — in the 2014 through 2021 model years.

that of the agency preliminary rating focused on 11 incidents in which Tesla cars operating under autopilot control collided with parked emergency vehicles and their lights flashed. In that review, NHTSA said Thursday, the agency became aware of 191 accidents — not limited to those involving emergency vehicles — that warranted a closer investigation.

This is an evolving story. Check for updates.

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