Feds to probe Telsa's Autopilot system after collisions with parked emergency vehicles

The investigation includes looking into nearly every Tesla sold in the U.S since roughly 2014.

Updated: August 16, 2021 - 1:32pm

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The federal government has opened a formal investigation into Tesla's partially automated driving systems, following a series of collisions involving the electric cars and parked emergency vehicles.

The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, essentially every vehicle Tesla has sold in the U.S. since about 2014.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday announced the probe and said it has identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles at scenes where first responders have used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards. 

Seventeen people have been injured and one was killed in the crashes, according to the Associated Press.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that NHTSA and the automaker limit Autopilot’s use to areas in which it can safely operate. 

Autopilot has frequently been misused by Tesla drivers, who have been caught driving drunk or even riding in the back seat while a car rolled down a California highway, the wire service also reports. 

A message was left early Monday seeking comment from Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations office.