NHTSA investigates another Tesla crash involving death of motorcyclist

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening yet another special investigation into a Tesla vehicle crash, according to documents viewed by TechCrunch. This time it involves the crash of a 2021 Tesla Model Y that killed a motorcyclist in California earlier this month.

Reuters was the first to report the special investigation.

This is the 38th special investigation of a crash involving a Tesla vehicle since 2016. Of those crashes, 18 were fatal. The latest probe, like most of the others, seeks to ascertain whether or not Autopilot, Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, was in use at the time of the crash.

Earlier this month, the NHTSA opened an investigation into one such fatal crash in which a pedestrian was killed and involved a 2018 Tesla Model 3 in California. The NHTSA also opened up special probes into another fatal Tesla crash, this one in Florida, which killed a 66-year-old Tesla driver and a 67-year-old passenger. In May, the agency began investigating a crash involving a 2022 Tesla Model S that killed three people.

The NHTSA declined to comment on the case, as it is still open. Local news reported that on July 7, a 48-year-old motorcyclist was killed after a collision on the Riverside Freeway in Riverside. He was riding in the HOV lane and was approached from behind by the Tesla. A crash then occurred that hurled the rider onto the freeway, according to My News LA.

The NHTSA usually opens more than 100 special crash investigations each year that probe emerging technologies.

Tesla cannot be reached for comment because it has disbanded its press office.