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The NHTSA is looking into Utah Tesla crash where driver said Autopilot was engaged

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday confirmed it had launched an investigation of a Tesla crash in South Jordan, Utah.
  • Over the past two months, federal officials have opened investigations into at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles.
Tesla Model S P85D dual electric motor sedan.
Myung J. Chun | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Tesla Model S P85D dual electric motor sedan.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday confirmed it had launched an investigation of a Tesla crash in South Jordan, Utah.

"Consistent with NHTSA's oversight and authority over the safety of all motor vehicles and equipment, the agency has launched its special crash investigations team to gather information on the South Jordan, Utah, crash. NHTSA will take appropriate action based on its review," the NHTSA wrote in an email.

Local police confirmed NHTSA representatives were already at the scene of the accident.

On Tuesday, the South Jordan Police Department received a report of a traffic crash involving a Tesla Model S and a fire mechanic truck. The driver of the Tesla, a 28-year-old woman, told police she had autopilot engaged and was staring at her phone before her car hit the truck at about 60 mph, police said.

Witnesses told police the driver made no attempt to brake or avoid the collision. The crash resulted in minor injuries to both drivers, but only Tesla driver was hospitalized.

Over the past two months, federal officials have opened investigations into at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles.

Last week, the National Traffic Safety Bureau opened a probe into an incident in which a Model S caught fire after crashing into a wall in Florida. The NTHSA later opened its own investigation.

Two 18-year-olds were trapped in the vehicle and died in the flames. The NTSB has said it does not expect the semi-autonomous system to be a focus of that investigation.

The NTSB and the NHTSA are also looking into the performance of the company's Autopilot system in the March crash of a Tesla Model X on a California highway. The driver in that incident died.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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