Tesla Inc. is facing increased scrutiny as federal investigations said Thursday they are investigating a fatal crash in Virginia involving one of the company’s SUVs that collided with a tractor-trailer truck.
The accident, which took place on July 19 in Fauquier County, Virginia, resulted in the death of a 57-year-old man who was driving a Tesla, the Fauquier Times reported. The electric vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer that was leaving a truck stop, the paper said.
The probe comes as the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the midst of a series of investigations targeting Tesla, its products and its chief executive officer, Elon Musk. Federal regulators are looking into possible problems with the company’s seat belts, steering wheels and driver-assistance features.
The collision is the 54th included in NHTSA’s Special Crash Investigation of advanced driver-assistance systems like Tesla’s Autopilot. The broader probe began in 2016 after a fatal accident in Florida involving a Model S that was being operated with its automated driving system activated.
Tesla vehicles have been involved in all but nine of the incidents that have been added to NHTSA’s investigation. The automaker, which has disbanded its media relations department, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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