The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Monday it has asked Tesla to provide more information after one of its vehicles crashed into a fire truck in California, Bloomberg reported.
The agency did not confirm to TechCrunch what kind of information it is seeking, but NHTSA likely wants to determine whether one of Tesla’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) — Autopilot or Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta — was engaged at the time of the crash.
The Contra Costa County fire department tweeted about the incident Saturday, asking road users to slow down and move over when approaching emergency vehicles.
“Truck 1 was struck by a Tesla while blocking I-680 lanes from a previous accident,” the tweet said. “Driver pronounced dead on-scene; passenger was extricated & transported to hospital. Four firefighters also transported for evaluation.”
The tweet included photos of the accident, including several of a completely totaled Tesla.
NHTSA has opened dozens of special crash investigations (SCI) into Tesla vehicles where Autopilot was suspected of being used. Of the 48 SCIs that have been opened and closed between June 2016 and July 2022, 39 involved Teslas. And of those 39, only three were confirmed to have not involved Autopilot. NHTSA still has many open investigations into crashes involving Teslas, some of which were fatal. The agency doesn’t comment on open investigations.
This latest fatal crash comes a few days after Tesla issued a recall for 362,758 vehicles to update its FSD software after regulators said FSD could allow the vehicles to act unsafe around intersections and cause crashes. The recall followed a Super Bowl ad taken out by Tesla’s biggest hater, The Dawn Project, that called on regulators to ban FSD until critical safety defects are fixed.
Tesla has come under scrutiny from a range of federal and state regulators for the safety of its ADAS. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice requested information from Tesla on Autopilot and FSD, potentially as part of a criminal investigation into the company.