NHTSA Checking 10 Deaths Involving Tesla (TSLA) Cars In Last 5 Years

June 18, 2021 7:18 AM EDT

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing 30 incidents that yielded 10 deaths involving Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) cars since 2016, the agency said, according to Reuters.

Tesla’s advanced driver assistance (ADA) systems were suspected to be used in these situations. So far, the agency dismissed Tesla's ADA as a cause for a crash in three situations.

At least three fatal crashes occurred since 2016 where ADA was engaged. Since March this year, NHTSA opened 8 new investigations.

"It seems like every other week we're hearing about a new vehicle that crashed when it was on Autopilot,” Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell said Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, Tesla said enabled in-car cameras in Model 3 and Model Y to monitor drivers when ADA is engaged.

“Cabin camera above the rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged,” the company said in a statement.

Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at CR told TechCrunch:

“Consumer Reports has been calling for camera-based driver monitoring systems for automation systems like Tesla’s Autopilot for years. Tesla’s current system of sensing torque on the wheel cannot tell if the driver is looking at the road. If the new system proves effective, it could help prevent distraction and be a major improvement for safety - potentially saving lives. We hope that other cars are updated soon and are looking forward to evaluating them.”

Aside from TSLA, the agency is also involving six other investigations into six other crashes involving ADAs, including two crashes involving each Volvo and Cadillac cars.



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