— A Tesla Newport Beach crash that killed three Model S occupants is under investigation by a special team from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA wants to know if Autopilot or any automated driving system was engaged when the California crash occurred at 12:45 a.m. on May 12.
According to the Newport Beach Police Department, the 2022 Tesla Model S slammed into a curb and then crashed into construction equipment on Pacific Coast Highway.
Officers found three deceased occupants in the Model S. Killed in the Tesla Newport Beach crash were Wayne Walter Swanson Jr., 40, of California, Crystal M. McCallum, 34, of Texas, and Andrew James Chaves, 32, of Arizona. Additionally, three road construction workers suffered minor injuries.
Federal safety regulators from NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board have investigated more than two dozen Tesla crashes to learn more about the use of advanced driver assistance systems and how electric vehicles react in crash impacts.
The government is also looking into Tesla crashes that occurred when the vehicles slammed into stopped emergency vehicles, and a separate investigation involves alleged Tesla "phantom braking" incidents.
While Tesla leads the pack of federal investigations into vehicle crashes that possibly involved automated technology, investigators are also investigating crashes involving Volvo, Cadillac, Lexus and Hyundai vehicles.
In one crash that killed two 2019 Tesla Model 3 occupants, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded Autopilot had been activated, but the Tesla driver overrode the feature before the deadly crash.
The NTSB also investigated a crash of a 2017 Navya autonomous shuttle in Las Vegas and released its conclusions in 2019.