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USA safety agency reviewing fatal Tesla crash in Florida

USA safety agency reviewing fatal Tesla crash in Florida

Safety investigators in the USA are investigating a crash in which the battery of a Tesla electric auto caught fire, burning two teenagers to death. The agency said that the investigation will focus on the electric vehicle battery fire.

A preliminary investigation shows the auto was not on autopilot at the time of the crash.

"Tesla battery packs are designed so that in the rare circumstance a fire occurs, it spreads slowly so that occupants have plenty of time to get out of the vehicle", the companywroteon its website.

Tesla said a failure to fix a highway safety barrier contributed to the accident.

While admitting that serious high-speed collisions can result in a fire, the Tesla spokesperson defended the car's safety record saying a gas auto in the United States is five times more likely to catch fire than a Tesla vehicle. The Fort Lauderdale Police department says a gray 2014 Tesla Motors Model S drove off the roadway and struck a concrete wall.

It is not the first time that one of Tesla Motors' electric vehicles gets involved in a auto crash.

All the passengers and the driver of the Tesla vehicle were 18-year-old males.

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One witness said the Tesla was being driven fast and spun out of control.

A local resident told CBS affiliateWFOR that the fire made it hard for observers to help the car's occupants.

Chris O'Neil, spokesman for the NTSB, said Wednesday that investigators don't know what caused the battery fire.

The NTSB has four active investigations into crashes of the company's electric vehicles. 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.

To make matters worse following the March incident, Tesla and the NTSB were at odds after Tesla released vetted information about the crash while the investigation was still open.

As a result, Tesla is no longer a party to the agency's investigation, though it said it would continue to assist the agency. The company based in Palo Alto, California, said it withdrew from the investigation agreement after being told it would be kicked out if it made additional statements before the NTSB finished its probe in the next 12 to 24 months. They were traveling southbound on Seabreeze Boulevard when the vehicle drove off the road and crashed into a concrete wall, Detective Tracy Figone of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said in a statement. Lauderdale which claimed the lives of two teens has drawn the interest of the National Transportation Safety Board.


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