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NHTSA is gathering information on fatal Tesla crash in Florida

Key Points
  • A Tesla Model S crashed and caught fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, killing two teenage males and sending a third to the hospital.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday it will gather information and take action based on its review.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is opening an investigation, which it said will likely focus on the electric vehicle battery fire.
  • Tesla said it is cooperating with authorities.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the second federal agency to begin looking into the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this week.

"The U.S. DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is gathering information on the tragic crash in Fort Lauderdale, FL to understand all of the facts," the NHTSA said Thursday. "The agency will take appropriate action based on its review."

It follows the National Transportation Safety Board, which said Wednesday it is sending a team to investigate the crash on state Route A1A , which killed two teenagers and injured a third.

The NTSB said it expects the primary focus of its investigation to be the electric vehicle battery fire. The agency said it does not currently expect Autopilot to be part of its inquiry.

All three occupants in the vehicle involved in the crash Tuesday night in Fort Lauderdale were 18-year-old males. A report from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department released Wednesday afternoon said the vehicle's speed is believed to have been a factor in the accident.

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by this tragedy," Tesla said in a statement. "We are working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to local authorities."

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There have been a few high-profile crashes involving Tesla cars, including some where Autopilot was engaged. Most recently, a man crashed his Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California, in March.

The ensuing investigation led to a falling out between Tesla and the NTSB, which was looking into the crash. The NTSB said Tesla had improperly released information related to the crash before it had been properly vetted. Tesla had said it withdrew from the investigation, and that the agency had violated its own rules by releasing "incomplete information to the media."

— CNBC's Lora Kolodny contributed to this story.