The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday it had asked Tesla to provide more information after one of its vehicles crashed into a fire truck in California, Bloomberg reported.
The agency hasn’t confirmed to TechCrunch what kind of information it’s looking for, but NHTSA likely wants to determine if any of Tesla’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) – Autopilot or Autopilot full autonomous driving (FSD) beta version – was engaged at the time of the crash.
The Contra Costa County Fire Department tweeted about Saturday’s incident, asking road users to slow down and move as emergency vehicles approach.
“Truck 1 was hit by a Tesla while blocking I-680 lanes from a previous accident,” the tweet read. “Driver declared dead on the spot; the passenger was extracted and taken to hospital. Four firefighters were also transported for assessment.
The tweet included photos of the crash, including several of a completely wrecked Tesla.
NHTSA has opened dozens of special accident investigations (SCIs) into Tesla vehicles where Autopilot was suspected of being used. Of the 48 SCIs that were opened and closed between June 2016 and July 2022, 39 involved Teslas. And of those 39, only three were confirmed not to have involved the autopilot. NHTSA still has many open investigations into crashes involving Teslas, some of which which were fatal. The agency does not comment on open investigations.
This last fatal accident arrives a few days later Tesla has issued a recall for 362,758 vehicles to update its FSD software after regulators said FSD could allow vehicles to act unsafely around intersections and cause accidents. The recall followed a Super Bowl ad taken by Tesla’s greatest enemy, The Dawn Project, which has called on regulators to ban FSD until critical safety flaws are fixed.
Tesla has come under intense scrutiny from a range of federal and state regulators for the security of his ADAS. Earlier this month, the The Ministry of Justice requested information of Tesla on Autopilot and FSD, potentially as part of a criminal investigation into the company.