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NHTSA Opens New Investigations into Tesla Autopilot Accidents

January 24, 2023

According to a news report published on, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened up two additional Tesla fatal accident investigations concerning Tesla's Autopilot or Full Self Driving (FSD) systems. Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more than 40 accident open investigations concerning Tesla's self-driving features. Fourteen of the crash investigations involve fatal accidents. 

Tesla is not the only auto manufacturer that offers driver assistant features that are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating accident reports involving the GM-backed robotaxi service, "Cruise."

Right now, Tesla offers two versions of its driver assistance, Autopilot and FSD beta. Tesla's Autopilot feature is standard in all of its electric vehicle models. Despite its moniker, Tesla's Full-Self Driving beta is not fully autonomous but offers more functionality than its Tesla Autopilot driving system. Both driving features have been named in the NHTSA's accident investigations.

Auto manufacturers who compete with Tesla are becoming more tired of trying to develop self-driving cars. In fact, many of the self-driving vehicle startups have closed. Also, tech giants like Apple have dialed back their expectations of developing a fully autonomous driving vehicle. According to the news report, self-driving software is both too expensive and too risky. Traffic accidents caused by self-driving software and hardware defects put the automakers at risk of being found financially liable.

Nevertheless, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will rule as to whether or not several fatal Tesla accidents were caused by Tesla's Autopilot or FSD features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will then issue recommendations to the self-driving auto industry. However, some safety advocates believe Tesla should recall its FSD beta and Autopilot prior to the NHTSA's rulings purely as a precaution. 

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.