WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The driver of a Tesla involved in a crash in Minnesota on Saturday denied that the vehicle’s Autopilot system had led to the incident, according to an email released by the automaker.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on Sunday that the driver of the 2016 Tesla had said that when he engaged the Autopilot system, it suddenly accelerated and caused the vehicle to roll over, injuring himself and four passengers.
But the driver said in the email released on Monday he believed he had disengaged the Autopilot system at the time of the crash. Tesla shares fell in trading on Monday after the crash was reported.
Clark was driving a Tesla Model S with four other passengers in the car when the accident occurred, the Associated Press reported. No one was seriously injured in the accident.
Tesla Autopilot offers active cruise control, forward collision warning, and Autosteer, allowing cars to drive themselves on highways. Cars produced after October 2016 will come with Tesla’s second-generation Autopilot system, which allows the vehicles to automatically change lanes and merge on and off highways.
The system came under scrutiny in May 2016 after Joshua Brown, 40, died in a fatal accident while Autopilot was activated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its six-month investigation after determining the accident wasn’t caused by a safety defect.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown; Danielle Muoio contributed to this report)