Tesla has cleared its controversial Autopilot feature of any blame in the latest fatal crash involving one of its high-powered sports cars. The company said the automatic controls were turned off when the Model S smashed into a tree at 96mph and burst into flames in the Dutch town of Baarn. It said the car’s logs showed that Autopilot was not engaged at any point in the car’s final journey. Police are continuing to investigate Wednesday’s smash which comes months after another driver was killed in the U.S. while the feature was turned on.
We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation.
The latest crash happened on a rural road about 40km (25 miles) south of Amsterdam. Firefighters were unable to retrieve the body of the 53-year-old driver for 30 minutes as his car burned because they were afraid they would be electrocuted. They also struggled to put the blazing battery which had been thrown from the car. Ronald Boer, a spokesman for emergency services, said: “The car was so badly damaged that the firefighters could not operate its security systems.”
We know a lot about electric cars, but there are always going to be cases where something unexpected happens.