NTSB: Autopilot flaw, driver inattention caused Tesla crash

The Center for Auto Safety, another advocacy group, also called for a recall.

“Put simply, a vehicle that enables a driver to not pay attention, or fall asleep, while accelerating into a parked fire truck is defective and dangerous,” the group said in a statement. “Any company that encourages such behavior should be held responsible, and any agency that fails to act bears equal responsibility for the next fatal incident.”

DETROIT — A design flaw in Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system and driver inattention combined to cause a Model S electric car to slam into a firetruck parked along a California freeway, a government investigation has found.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the driver was overly reliant on the system and that Autopilot’s design let him disengage from driving.

The agency released a brief report Wednesday that outlined the probable cause of the January 2018 crash in the high occupancy vehicle lane of Interstate 405 in Culver City near Los Angeles.

The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of Autopilot, which was engaged but failed to brake in the Culver City crash and three others in which drivers were killed since 2016.

No one was hurt in the I-405 crash involving a 2014 Tesla Model S that was traveling 31 mph at the time of impact, according to the report.

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