The fatal crash of a Tesla vehicle in the United States has promoted the country's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to launch an investigation into the causes of the accident. The vehicle crashed into a tree and caught fire on 13 September, killing two people. The NTSB investigates highway safety issues but has no regulatory authority in the US.
The NTSB announced in a tweet on 17 September that it's coordinating with the City of Coral Gables Police Department in Florida (the state where the accident took place) and is sending three investigators to the scene.
The inquiry comes at a time when the electric vehicle (EV) maker is facing increased scrutiny from regulators.
A formal defect investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system was launched last month by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration after almost a dozen collisions at crash scenes involving first-responder vehicles.
According to a report by TopAuto
, the lithium-ion batteries that power Tesla models and other EVs are highly flammable and difficult to extinguish. "Once damaged, they can reignite hours or days after being doused, the safety board has warned.
"In January, the NTSB issued a special report about the dangers of battery fires from electric cars, saying manufacturers have left emergency responders vulnerable to battery blazes.
"The NTSB is also investigating a fatal crash in Texas involving a Model S sedan that hit a tree and caught on fire, killing both occupants in April," the publication's report states.