Tesla driver wasn’t using Autopilot in fatal crash in the Netherlands, Model S was being driven at over 96 mph


As we reported yesterday, a tragic accident resulted in the death of a Tesla Model S driver in the Netherlands Wednesday. The Tesla left the road, hit a tree and parts of the battery pack caught on fire. The crash made national Dutch news and some media linked the accident to the Autopilot citing the death of Joshua Brown in Florida in May.

Tesla has since reviewed the logs of the car and confirms that the Autopilot “was not engaged” during the drive and that the car was “being driven at more than 155 kph (96 mph)”.

Here’s the full statement from Tesla:

We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation. Thus far, we can confirm from the car’s logs that Autopilot was not engaged at any time during the drive cycle and that, consistent with the damage that was observed after the vehicle struck the tree, the vehicle was being driven at more than 155 kph.

Tesla dispatched technicians at the scene of the crash to assist firefighters at their request. The local authorities and Tesla launched investigations into the accident. While the speed on the narrow two-lane road seems to have been at cause, the automaker might be interested in what happened to the battery pack after the crash.

Media reports suggested that battery modules fell out of the battery pack after the crash and that’s what could have started the fire, which prompted the firefighters to request Tesla’s help.

Ronald Boer, a spokesman for the firefighters, said:

“If the car was on four wheels, the fire brigade normally has no difficulty to turn off the batteries. However, this car is completely destroyed, hampering the recovery. In this situation, you never know what can happen.”

Tesla offers a lot of documentation to rescuers on how to handle its vehicles after a crash.

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