Regulators ask why Tesla vehicles crash into firetrucks, patrol cars and first responder vehicles.

Posted in Investigations

Tesla Autopilot Investigation to Focus on Emergency Vehicle Crashes
Regulators ask why Tesla vehicles crash into firetrucks, patrol cars and first responder vehicles.

— A U.S. federal investigation includes about 765,000 model year 2014-2021 Tesla Model Y, Model X, Model S and Model 3 vehicles that seem to be attracted to emergency vehicles such as firetrucks and police patrol cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alleges most of the crashes occurred after dark and when multiple obvious warnings surrounded the original crash scenes.

NHTSA says the Tesla vehicles still crashed into the first responder vehicles even when flashing emergency lights were activated. Some crash scenes also included the use of road flares, illuminated arrows and road cones, yet the Tesla's still slammed into the emergency vehicles.

Every Tesla vehicle involved in a crash had Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control engaged.

Autopilot is described as an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) in which the vehicle maintains its speed and lane centering. However, drivers are warned to stay aware and ready to take control of the vehicles at any time.

This has apparently been a problem for the drivers who crashed into the emergency vehicles.

NHTSA says at least 11 crash incidents have occurred since January 2018, including an Indiana crash that killed 23-year-old Jenna N. Monet when her Tesla Model 3 slammed into a firetruck.

Also included is a California crash that occurred when a Tesla Model S crashed into a firetruck while the Tesla was traveling 65 mph, and a Connecticut Tesla crash that occurred when the vehicle took out a police vehicle.

The driver said he wasn't paying attention because he was checking on his dog in the rear seat.

Then there is the 2015 Tesla Model S that slammed into a North Carolina police cruiser because the Tesla driver (a 67-year-old physician) was watching TV.

Federal safety regulators will investigate several aspects of Tesla's technologies regarding driver assistance systems, including the methods employed to monitor driver engagement when Autopilot is activated. will update our website with results of the Tesla investigation.


Become a Fan & Spread the Word