In April of this year, a fatal accident that killed two men involving a Tesla EV made the news. One reason it made the news was because there was a question of whether or not the driver was actually behind the wheel of the car at the time of the accident. Some early responders to the accident scene had said that with where the driver’s body was found, there was no way he was behind the wheel at the time.
Speculation suggested that the vehicle driver may have defeated Tesla’s safety measures allowing him to be in the backseat or the passenger seat at the time of the accident. First responders discovered one of the men in the back seat and the other in the car’s front passenger seat at the accident scene.
However, the NTSB investigation has found that both the driver and passenger went in the front seats with belts buckled when the accident occurred. The NTSB says the car traveled at about 67 mph five seconds before the impact, and the driver was accelerating. After accessing data on the vehicle’s event recorder, NTSB investigators found the accelerator had been pressed as high as 98.8 percent.
Investigators have admitted that the ensuing fire damaged the event data recorder. Despite new evidence about where the driver and passenger relocated during the accident, the investigation is continuing. Currently, there has been no word on whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the accident.
Other aspects of the accident still under investigation include whether or not the passengers were unable to get out of the car, and driver toxicology is still pending. Those determinations will be made before the final report is issued.