Driver Blames Autopilot in Second Tesla Model X Crash
SUV suffered major damage, but occupants are OK
Following the deadly Model S crash in Florida and a Model X crash in Pennsylvania, Tesla now has another PR mess on its hands. According to a new report, a Tesla Model X crashed in Montana on Saturday night, and the driver is blaming Autopilot for the incident.
The SUV was traveling in Autopilot mode between 56 and 60 mph, a friend of the driver wrote on the Tesla Motors Club forum. According to the friend, the vehicle drove off the road and hit a guardrail. "I questioned him [the driver] on how can Autopilot drove off the road by itself, he said he also wants to find out."
Pictures of the crash, posted on Electrek, reveal major damage to the front passenger side of the Model X. Fortunately, both people who were in the car at the time are reportedly doing fine. It looks like the road the Model X was driving on did not have a center divider.
It's unclear whether Autopilot played any role in this accident. The same is true for another Model X crash that occurred recently on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In that accident, the SUV was traveling east on the highway, hit a guardrail on the right side, and rolled over on its roof. Both occupants also survived that crash.
Since releasing its 7.1 software update, Tesla restricted the use of Autosteer on roads without a center divider, limiting speeds to the speed limit of the road plus an extra 5 mph. Tesla says drivers should keep their hands on the steering wheel while using Autopilot. The automaker recently revealed another software update that adds functions to Autopilot.
It's unclear what exactly caused the accident. When asked for comment on the crash and if Autopilot was activated, Tesla told us, "We're looking into it."