In a statement late on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the company said it had not yet retrieved the logs from the vehicle but "everything we have found thus far indicated a very high-speed collision and that autopilot was not engaged". In most cases, the cars' Autopilot mode was at fault.
Whereas the circumstances surrounding the accident seem to be clear, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stepped in to investigate why and how the vehicle caught fire. The main focus of the investigation will be the post-crash fire that originated from the battery of the electric vehicle. The probe is part of the agency's attempt to "understand the impact of these emerging transportation technologies when they are part of a transportation accident", it said in a Wednesday reports. "Autopilot was not engaged". The feature caps the vehicle's speed at 5 miles per hour above the local speed limit on residential roads.
Two high school students were killed in crash and a third 18 year old was ejected from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital.
Teslas use an array of cylindrical lithium-cobalt aluminum batteries mounted low across the width of the car's floor, as most electric-car batteries are.
The revelation about the electric auto battery's re-igniting days after the crash was included in a safety memo written last month by Mountain View Fire Chief Juan Diaz, and first reported Wednesday by KTVU2. It found that Tesla wasn't at fault, instead saying the driver didn't follow the company's warnings to stay in control of the vehicle at all times.
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Similarly, the NTSB is also still investigating a battery fire that took place when a Tesla Model X crashed into someone's garage in Lake Forest, California in the month of August previous year.
Earlier, Tesla said its autopilot system was unlikely to have been a factor in the crash. Tesla accused the agency of withholding some information from the public and withdrew from the probe.
What will the future hold?
This is the second time in recent months that a Tesla accident has drawn the attention of the NTSB, which is still investigating a March Model X crash, that killed its driver. Tesla plans to fully comply with the investigation and stands behind its vehicle and safety features.
"The family who owned the vehicle has been a close friend of Tesla for many years, and this hits us particularly hard".