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Fiery Tesla Crash Kills Two Occupants, Neither Was Driving the Model S

Autopilot has been the subject of controversy ever since Tesla introduced the advanced driver-assistance features in September 2014. Most of the criticism is attributed to the name, which is deceiving by all accounts.
Fiery Tesla Crash in Texas 18 photos
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We’ve recently covered a Model Y that plowed into a police car, and not that long ago, the National Transportation Safety Board said that Autopilot suffers from “a lack of appropriate safeguards.” Adding insult to injury, Tesla regulatory counsel Eric C. Williams told the California Department of Motor Vehicles that Autopilot and FSD are definitely not autonomous systems.

The bad publicity doesn’t end here, though. A Tesla with nobody in the driver’s seat has crashed into a tree and burst into flames in Spring, Texas, killing two people after failing to make a turn. One of the men killed was in the front passenger seat while the other was in the rear, according to KHOU.

It’s not clear if Autopilot was turned on before the crash. “Several of our folks are reconstructionists, but they feel very confident just with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one driving that vehicle,” declared Constable Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct 4.

According to Herman, firefighters needed four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, and at one point, the firefighters had to call Tesla to ask how to put the fire out. That alone begs a serious question about the safety of electric vehicles in the event of a crash, but Tesla isn’t to blame for the fiery incident. The lithium-ion battery is to blame because thermal runaway and cell rupture may lead to combustion.

Gasoline is extremely flammable as well, but as opposed to electric-vehicle manufacturers, traditional automakers have decades of experience under their belt. Be that as it may, legacy brands can still get it wrong for a multitude of reasons. Nissan, for example, recalled 2,146 examples of the 2021 model year Rogue crossover over an improperly secured fuel hose.

At the moment of writing, the investigation into the 2019 Tesla Model S crash that killed two people is still ongoing, according to the cited publication.



 
 
 
 
 

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