Tesla shares fall after driver claims auto crashed while using autopilot

Gladys Abbott
July 18, 2017

According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, the driver of the vehicle, 58-year old David Clark, was approaching an intersection when he turned the Autopilot system on, causing the auto accelerate suddenly and veer off the road.

- A Minnesota man is blaming Tesla's partially self-driving Autopilot system for a crash over the weekend.

Clark and four adults in the vehicle were slightly hurt.

XAutoplay: On | OffA 58-year-old man from the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie said his Tesla "suddenly accelerated" and overturned in a marsh after he engaged the car's autopilot system, the Star-Tribune reported. The crash brought intense scrutiny on the technology and whether the car's manufacturer, based in Palo Alto, Calif., overstated the capability of the autopilot feature.

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"Every time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded of their responsibility to remain engaged and to be prepared to take immediate action at all times, and drivers must acknowledge their responsibility to do so before Autopilot is enabled", the auotmaker added.

On Monday afternoon, after Tesla shares fell as much as 4.4 percent, Musk tweeted a copy of an email that Clark sent late Sunday to the investigating officer, clarifying that Clark believes he had already disengaged the Autopilot shortly before the accident occurred.

In May 2016, a motorist near Gainesville, Fla., was killed when his Tesla collided with a semitrailer truck while in the self-driving mode. The system requires drivers to continually touch the wheel.

In January, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had found no evidence of defects with Autopilot following Brown's death.

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