Tesla Model S fatal crash prompts NHTSA investigation

The agency's special crash investigation team is looking into a collision near Los Angeles in which two people died.

Jon Skillings Editorial director
Jon Skillings is an editorial director at CNET, where he's worked since 2000. A born browser of dictionaries, he honed his language skills as a US Army linguist (Polish and German) before diving into editing for tech publications -- including at PC Week and the IDG News Service -- back when the web was just getting under way, and even a little before. For CNET, he's written on topics from GPS, AI and 5G to James Bond, aircraft, astronauts, brass instruments and music streaming services.
Expertise AI, tech, language, grammar, writing, editing Credentials
  • 30 years experience at tech and consumer publications, print and online. Five years in the US Army as a translator (German and Polish).
Jon Skillings
Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

A deadly crash on Sunday that involved a Tesla Model S is now the subject of an inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA announced late Tuesday that it is dispatching its special crash investigation team to look into the incident, according to news reports.

Two people died in the crash, and two others were injured, when the Tesla vehicle allegedly ran a red light and collided with a , according to an NBC News affiliate and others. The crash happened in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena.

A spokesman for the NHTSA declined to say whether Tesla's Autopilot driver assist function played a role in the crash, according to Bloomberg. The agency's special crash investigation team has investigated about a dozen crashes of Tesla vehicles that were thought to involve the Autopilot capability, the Associated Press reported.

In early December, a Tesla Model 3 crashed into a state police cruiser on the side of a highway in Connecticut. The driver in that incident told police he had engaged the Autopilot, which isn't a fully self-driving system, and was checking on his dog in the back seat.

Neither Tesla nor the NHTSA immediately responded to a request for comment.

Watch this: Tesla Model S Long Range pulls further ahead of the EV pack

Tesla Cybertruck is like nothing else, and it'll be built in Austin

See all photos