Tesla Motors is no longer part of the official investigation in the March of one of its Model X crossovers, which was reportedly using the Autopilot driver assist at the time. The National Transportation Safety Board sent Elon Musk a yesterday telling him Tesla was off the case.
, Tesla made public that blamed the driver, Walter Huang, who died in the wreck. They continue:
The NTSB guards the integrity of its investigations closely, demanding that participants adhere to rules about what information they can release and their expected cooperation. These so-called parties to investigations must sign legal agreements laying out their responsibilities.
No surprise, Tesla tells a different tale about what happened: That it withdrew from the investigation itself because stuffy NTSB regulations would silence the automaker during the 12-24 month investigation and forbid Tesla to "correct misleading claims that had been made about Autopilot — claims which made it seem as though Autopilot creates safety problems when the opposite is true."
Clearly defending Autopilot's reputation now is more valuable to Musk's car company than staying in the good graces of the NTSB.