NTSB removes Tesla as a party in the investigation of fatal crash

NTSB removes Tesla as a party in the investigation of fatal crash

It's been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing almost 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

Federal investigators say they have booted electric auto maker Tesla Inc. from a group that's investigating a fatal crash in California that involved an SUV using the company's Autopilot system.

"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said on April 12. The NTSB was not made aware of the information going out.

Removing a party to an investigation is rare but has happened in the past, according to the agency. EPS is an indicator of company profit because the more earnings a company can generate per share, the more valuable each share is to shareholders.

Tesla boss Elon Musk tweeted that his company had disclosed the details of the crash, which occurred on 23 March in Mountain View, California, in the interest of "public safety".

But, over time, production seems to be improving. Was Tesla simply being transparent or was it being a bit reckless in order to try to get out in front of the story in a way that benefits its public image? Musk personally took over the production line earlier this month, which now produces slightly more than 2,000 vehicles a week. The company said the crash was worsened by a missing or damaged safety shield on the end of the lane divider.

For those wondering the difference between the two federal agencies, the National Transportation Safety Board deteremines the cause of crashes and then makes safety recommendations while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can impose fines and regulations.

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After the most recent incident, Tesla issued a statement saying Huang was at fault for the crash - even though Autopilot was running. "I trust that you will confirm the accuracy of the relevant factual statements when asked tomorrow", Tesla said to NHTSA.

Musk also said in the interview he was "under stress", and it's clear why.

The war of words on Thursday between the Silicon Valley automaker run by billionaire Elon Musk and the NTSB stood in stark contrast to efforts this week by Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi and Facebook Inc chief Mark Zuckerberg to defuse conflicts with regulators.

While this clearly irked the NTSB, A.P. reports the NHTSA said it has no qualms with Tesla.

Consumers Union has called for Tesla to stop testing the cars with its buyers, and Friedman said the company shouldn't use the name Autopilot because it implies that the cars can drive themselves.

In the crash that killed Huang, a Tesla spokeswoman would not directly answer questions about why the SUV didn't spot the freeway barrier and stop before the collision. It also says automatic emergency braking "is not created to avoid a collision and is not a substitute for maintaining a safe traveling distance" from other vehicles.