U.S. safety agency to probe Tesla crash in Utah

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Wednesday that it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla Inc. vehicle last week in Utah that the driver said occurred while the car was in autopilot mode.

It is the third Tesla crash that may be linked to the semi-autonomous Autopilot system being investigated by the government agency since January.

“The agency has launched its special crash investigations team to gather information on the South Jordan, Utah, crash,” the agency said on Wednesday. “NHTSA will take appropriate action based on its review.”

Tesla did not immediately comment.

The driver of a Tesla Model S sedan was traveling at 60 miles (97 km) per hour when it smashed into a fire truck stopped at a red light about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City on Friday night, according to police. The driver said she was using autopilot at the time of the crash and suffered a broken ankle.

NHTSA is also investigating a fatal crash in March that involved a Tesla Model X using Autopilot. It is also probing the January crash of a Tesla vehicle apparently traveling in Autopilot that struck a fire truck. Both incidents were in California.

Last week, NHTSA also said it would probe a May 8 Tesla accident in Florida that killed two teenagers and injured another. Autopilot was not thought to play a part.

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