Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot

Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot

Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot

This inquiry is in connection to Tesla's failure to disclose a fatal crash involving one of the company's Autopilot-equipped cars to investors, according to The Wall Street Journal. The investigation, initially involving the Florida Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has now been joined by the National Transportation Safety Board. In a statement, Tesla said Scaglione's claims were false based on the vehicle's logs containing details about the state of vehicle controls, which is capable of indicating whether the car's Autopilot feature was on or off at the time.

Last week Tesla said it told regulators about the incident on May 16. Some accused the automaker of intentionally not disclosing the accident to investors, so that it would achieve a better financial position on its $2 billion offering in Tesla stock on May 18, 11 days after the fatal incident.

Tesla says it "has not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue", the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tesla's shares rose 3.7% Monday to close at 224.78 on news that Musk plans to unveil another new "Master Plan" for the company later this week. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, believes the crash isn't material information. A former SEC attorney told the paper he was "very skeptical" that a court would find Tesla in the wrong, given that the carmaker's stock bounced back very quickly after news of the crash broke.

Lawyers for the family of Brown said they are investigating the circumstances of the crash, and awaiting conclusions from police and federal agencies. A company spokesperson said that the May 7 vehicle crash did not require disclosure to investors.

Laymen call Autopilot "self-driving" technology, and the company refers to this system as a "driver assistance system".

The July crash involved a 2016 Model X SUV, and a driver who was also using Autopilot features.

Noting that its Autopilot must be activated by the driver before it can be used, Tesla's website advises that "the system is new technology and still in a public beta phase".

"What Tesla was doing with autopilot was saying it was far more than it was", he said.

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