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Tesla fires back over ethics accusation after fatal crash

Lucas Mearian | July 8, 2016
Fortune called out Tesla and the NHTSA for waiting eight weeks to disclose the fatal crash

Tesla model S 

A Tesla Model S on a highway.

Tesla informed the NHTSA about the May 7 crash on May 16, and it had "barely started" its own investigation of the incident at that time, Musk stated.

On May 18, a Tesla investigator arrived in Florida to inspect Brown's Model S and the crash site and was able to pull the complete vehicle logs from the car. Musk said it was not until the last week of May that the company was able to finish its review of those logs and complete its investigation.

As in the June 30 blog, Musk defended Tesla's Autopilot technology, stating that the Fortune article made two false assumptions: That the accident was caused by Autopilot failure; and that "a single accident involving Autopilot," is material to Tesla's investors.

"To be clear, this accident was the result of a semi-tractor trailer crossing both lanes of a divided highway in front of an oncoming car. Whether driven under manual or assisted mode, this presented a challenging and unexpected emergency braking scenario for the driver to respond to," Musk wrote, adding there was no evidence to suggest that Autopilot was not operating as designed.

 

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