Tesla Probe Leads NHTSA to Request Documents From 12 Carmakers
(Bloomberg) -- The top U.S. auto safety regulator sent letters to 12 automakers as part of its investigation into Tesla Inc.’s Autopilot system and a dozen collisions at crash scenes involving first-responder vehicles.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration sent letters dated Monday to BMW North America, America Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor North America Inc., Ford Motor Co. and other manufacturers seeking documents for a “comparative analysis amongst production vehicles equipped with the ability to control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances,” according to the letters.
NHTSA is seeking a variety of documents about how the different manufacturers’ driver-assistance features work, how the companies determine whether the features were engaged during accidents and how the systems detect and respond to the presence of first responder and law enforcement vehicles.
The agency opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system last month after almost a dozen collisions at crash scenes involving first-responder vehicles, stepping up its scrutiny of a system the carmaker has offered for the last half decade.
The probe covers an estimated 765,000 Tesla Model Y, X, S and 3 vehicles from the 2014 model year onward. The regulator -- which has the power to deem cars defective and order recalls -- said it launched the investigation after 11 crashes that resulted in 17 injuries and one fatality.
NHTSA asked the companies to respond to the letters by Nov. 17.
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